Death of nine minors in two weeks `shrouded in mystery` – 28 Apr 2023

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Nine minor children have died of a `mysterious disease` during the last two weeks in Malh locality of Mauza Raees Pathan, Allahabad Town, located some 100 kilometres from Rahim Yar Khan, as per locals.

As many as 15 more affected children are under treatment at different public and private hospitals.

According to relatives of the affected children who mostly belongs to the same clan, the minors are aged betweenone and 11 years.

After a mysterious disease which emerged in the first week of January 2023 in a Basti of Rukunpur area in tehsil Rahim Yar Khan, 12 people died in a few days.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Khan Wazir confirmed five deaths, saying that it was not any `mysterious disease`. He said on March 18, a field staff member of the department during his visit to Malh had found some children who missed the measles campaign.

Later, the CEO said he sent a health team to the locality which completed the measles vaccination among the [missed] children.

Then the samples of all the children were dispatched to National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, which confirmed measles positive in two kids.

Dr Wazir said: `An initial investigation report is being prepared by the authoritiesand it would be released soon.

He said Ayesha (1), Shahnaz (2), Salam (4), Anjum (4) and Kalsoom Bibi (8) were among those who died.

The CEO said all the affected children were found malnourished and the health authority established a medical camp for proper food and medicines.

Dr Wazir said the actual figure of the under-treatment children would be provided soon. He said the initial reasons for outbreak were poor health and hygiene, mud houses with dense population and maximum open defecation. He said the Liaquatpur assistant commissioner was requested for the provision of potable water to the affected families because sewage was mixing in the drinking water.

When Liaquatpur AC Sarmad Ali Bhagat was contacted, he did not reply to the call of this correspondent.

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