Prevent spread of Hepatitis-A

Take all measures to ensure that people are safe from the disease
Representational photo
Representational photoFile/GK

The authorities must take all measures immediately to prevent spread of Hepatitis-A disease at Turka-Tachloo village in Kulgam district. As per reports two children have died and four others are ill.

More teams of doctors must be sent to the affected village and its neighbouring areas including Yaripora, Behibagh.

More screening and testing of people including children should be done. Those infected have to be provided treatment at the earliest. The cause behind the outbreak of the disease has to be found out and corrective measures taken.

Hepatitis-A is a highly contagious liver infection and spreads from contaminated food and water, or contact with someone who is infected. According to health department officials, at Turka-Tachloo the disease is water borne. The locals also said  that the disease was caused due to supply of impure and unsafe drinking water to the village.

They said they drew the attention of concerned officials towards the supply of unclean and unsafe water  several times, but no action was taken. The villagers said  the Hepatitis-A cases started getting reported five days back.

Even then the supply of unsafe water was not stopped.  The same drinking water continued to be supplied and no effort was made to provide the  safe drinking water.

Water tankers should have been used to supply water if there was problem in the filtration plant and reservoir. The authorities must seriously look into the matter and see what went wrong.

They must also take notice of the allegations that the filtration plants at Yaripora, Behibagh and water supply schemes in the area are either non-functional or partly functional.

The outbreak of Hepatitis-A at Turka-Tachloo village has also brought focus on the issue that how safe is the water being supplied for drinking. Are the guidelines regarding providing of clean and safe drinking water being strictly followed? The  Jal Shakti Department authorities must ensure that  the guidelines are adhered to by their ground staff.

Otherwise, any complacency will give rise to water borne diseases including Hepatitis-A. The department must review the functioning of filtration plants wherever there are complaints of impure water being supplied. Not only in the affected villages of Kulgam but in other parts of Kashmir as well.

The people must also avoid contaminating the sources of drinking water and should not dump garbage near such spots. The sources of water have to be kept clean for supply of clean and safe drinking water.

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