Cholera outbreak in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti kills four people, over 1500 affected

An outbreak of cholera has killed at least four people including a child along with hundreds of others affected in resource-rich Dera Bugti district’s Pirkoh tehsil of Balochistan. Unavailability of clean drinking water resulted in a Cholera outbreak, according to a health officer.

Dera Bugti District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Azam Bugti told the media that four persons, including a two-year-old and a woman, have died after drinking polluted water from a pond. However, independent sources and locals claim the number of deaths to be over a dozen in the Pir Koh area of the district.

The first cholera case had emerged on April 17 and 1,500 people had fallen ill with the disease till now, with as many as 123 new cases reported on Wednesday, told the DHO.

According to Dr. Bugti, the number of cholera patients in the district headquarters hospital had increased to such an extent that healthcare workers were accommodating patients on the ground. He further added that the medicines were also running out.

“No health facilities have been provided despite the alarming situation”, Muhammad Bakhsh Bugti, a resident of the area, told.

CM Balochistan takes notice

Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Quddus Bizenjo took notice of the outbreak and directed the health department to double its efforts to ensure timely health facilities for the patients.

He also ordered an instant release of Rs10 million for the aid of the patients in the Dera Bugti district, said an official newsletter issued on Wednesday evening.

Earlier on Monday, Senator Sarfraz Bugti had requested Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo to direct the relevant authorities to declare an emergency in Pirkoh.

Negligence of PHE

According to the locals of the area, there was no clean water supply line from the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department due to which people were forced to drink dirty water from puddles and ponds.

The PHE, according to the Balochistan government’s website, is a government department assigned with the development and provision of safe drinking water and sewerage projects.

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