By Mustafa Kamal
Islamabad, March 15: Amid the viral disease and harsh weather, the high-ups of the GB government and administration of Ghizar District visited Phandar, Teru and Gulaghmuli villages of Tehsil Gupis, and met with parents of the affected kids and the local people. More than ten children have died within two weeks in these villages due to viral pneumonia and other diseases.
While talking to this scribe, District Safety Manager of PHHI for Ghizar, Ms.Mashroof Hayat said that their team has set-up free medical camps in Gulaghmuli, Handarap and Teru. Two child specialists were present in these mobile camps to treat the children infected by viral diseases. According to Ms. hayat, the PPHI team in collaboration with the AKHSP and local population is fully utilizing all the available resources to cope with the situation. Mr. Afzal, Executive head of PPHI Monitoring department informed this subscribe from Teru that 10 casualties have been confirmed so far. Out of these 4 cases were of premature birth, 3 of malnutrition and 3 of Acute Respiratory Disorders (ARI).
“The Chief Secretary had assured to the local people yesterday that he would send the team to the area, and he fulfilled his promise”, said Mr. Younus, a student based in Gilgit. He said that the people appreciate his timely response, yet there is lot to do to control the situation fully”. “No single gynecologist and child specialists are present in any unit of government hospital and AKHSP centers”, said Ms. Shakeela. This was the most important factor causing premature deaths on the area according to her.
Ms. Hayat said that the “PHHI has full stock of medicine which are being provided to the children”. However, she said that the PPHI lacks vehicles to travel over roads heavily packed with snow. She further stated the the DC has assured to provide vehicles to the staff to reach in most remotest villages.
According to Dr. Malika Saba of AKHSP, the AKHSP has also set-up medical camp in the affected areas and one specialist is working with the LHVs to control the situation.
The villagers, however claim that the AKHSP doctor has some physical issues and has trouble in mobility. He is being assisted by villagers during his journeys around the villages. That creates further issues, they said. The villagers also deny that the deaths are happening because of malnutrition and premature births. They claim that all these deaths have been caused by the viral infection. The people have demanded that the government must compensate the families and should appoint specialist doctors both in government hospitals and in AKH centers.
According to local people, there is chances that the current rains and snow will further aggravate the situation and requested the government to mobilize their resources in earliest possible time. The community members also demanded that ambulances must be provided to the health units of the areas to take the referral patients to Gupis and Singal.
It is to be noted that the Red Crescent GB has not shown its presence in such a critical situation as the organization is mandated of providing relief during natural disasters. People have demanded that Red Crescent, WHO and UNICEF must also mobilize their resources and provide relief to the inhabitants of remotest villages of GB.