At least nine more infants died due to malnutrition and outbreak of the various diseases in Thar during that last two days, raising the toll to 476 this year.With the death of nine more children the toll rose to 476 during past 12 months of the outgoing year, said health officials. However, according to the unofficial details gathered from various independent sources, the toll rose to 606 this year.
The health officials, however, are not sure about more than 690 children who were refered to hospitals in Hyderabad and Karachi that whether they died or survived.Those who lost their lives in the last two days in included six-monthold Mehesh, one-month-old Gulab Meghwar, nine-month-old Handesh, two-month-old Hajan, one-year-old Abdul Sattar and Naseema Noutyar. They died in civil hospital Mithi.Meanwhile, three newborns including the twins of Zulfiqar Saand died in taluka hospital of Diplo.District Health Officer Dr Chandal Lal claimed that sincere efforts were being made to provide maximum facilities in all the health units of the district. He held early-age marriages responsible for most of the deaths.CEO of Health and Nutrition Development Society (Hands) Dr Shaikh Tanweer Ahmed urged the government to focus on the nutrition of kids and pregnant women in Thar to avoid more fatalities in the vulnerable region.He told Dawn that malnutrition has been a big issue of the arid zone of the country. He urged the government to provide basic healthcare and nutrition programmes at grass-root level. He said that they had no details of those kids referred to Hyderabad and Karachi for the better treatment from Mithi Civil Hospital.The parents of the ailing kids, talking to local journalists, complained of the lack of facilities in hospitals of Tharparkar district.
The PML-N's member national assembly (MNA) from Thar Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani flayed Sindh government for its alleged apathy over the unabated deaths of the minor kids.He claimed that most of health units and the dispensaries in the remote villages of the desert were still lying closed despite the tall claims of Sindh government.He told that over two thousands kids had lost their lives during past three years but the concerned functionaries were least bothered to overhaul the healthcare system in the province.