Pakistan

Seven more children die in Thar, PPP lawmaker denies 'drought-like situation'

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MITHI: Seven more children have died in drought-hit Thar during the past 24 hours, with the number of children dying in the district because of malnutrition and other causes since October last year rising to at least 150.

An infant Zulekha died in Hameera Ba village while Karima from village Kheemi ji Dhani lost her life on way to Islamkot hospital. Sakina, a daughter of Badar Junejo died in Adi Jo Tarr.

Three-year-old Manesh died in Char Nore near Chhachhro taluka of Tharparkar district, infant Ram died in Kantio and a newborn lost his battle with life near Kaloi.

The death toll of children's death in the district has risen to 188 since Jan 1.

At least 120 children were brought to six hospitals of the district for treatment.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Sindh Health Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar admitted that the government was unable to control the fatalities of malnourished children but was focusing on an agenda to provide maximum healthcare facilities to pregnant women of the desert to avoid premature births.

Dahar reiterated that the government was not in a position to ensure health facilities in every village however, it was fully committed to equip existing hospitals and dispensaries.

He said "instead of creating a hype", media should play a positive role in highlighting the genuine issues faced by the neglected area of Thar, which he said had suffered devastating droughts over the years.

Dahar said he had directed the concerned officials to ensure that lady health workers perform their duties honestly in order to be able to guide local women.

The provincial minister observed that availability of safe drinking water was a major issue in Thar, which was being addressed by Sindh government through installation of Reverse Osmosis plants.

'No drought in Thar, media creating hype'
PPP lawmaker and the district president of party's Thar chapter Dr Mehesh Malani said that children were dying in other areas as well but "media is only creating a hype in Thar", asserting that there was no drought-like situation in Thar.

Meanwhile, people who brought their children to Mithi Civil Hospital from various areas of the district complained that despite government claims the dispensaries in their respective areas were still lying closed.

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