Monday, 15 September 2014

Kashmir - Waterborne Diseases - Flood and its Aftermath

"Since water in most of the places recedes, threat of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases may arise," the union home ministry said in a statement in New Delhi. "Thus the NDRF has established five medical camps in various water logged areas of Srinagar to provide health care facilities to marooned people," it said. 

Indian emergency workers on Monday battled to prevent water-borne diseases like cholera from spreading as fetid water swilled around the Kashmir valley more than a week after the worst flooding in more than a century.

More than 75,000 people were still in partly submerged homes in Srinagar, Kashmir's main city of more than a million people, where roads have been transformed into stagnant canals strewn with wreckage, trash and dead animals. "Floating carcasses have become a big source of worry with most houses still waterlogged." 

“Many waterborne diseases such as giardiasis (beaver fever), sporadic parasite, hepatitis A and E viral infections (jaundice), typhoid, cholera and food poisoning occur due to consumption of contaminated water in the rainy season,” said a senior doctor. Waterborne disease is dominated by pathogens transmitted by the faecal-oral route and by drinking water. These diseases in infancy can lead to systemic immune system imbalances, increasing stunting and reducing cognizance. Experts have advised the public to take care of their health in such climate conditions.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is working to prevent water-borne diseases like diarrhoea from spreading in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar city as flood waters started to recede, an official said on Sunday. The statement said so far the NDRF has evacuated 49,115 flood victims and has distributed 37 tonnes of relief material to flood victims in Srinagar alone.