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Diseases hit relief camp

Mominpara (Alipurduar), July 29: Forty people are down with diarrhoea because of poor sanitation at a camp for those who fled the riot-torn Kokrajhar in Assam.

The camp, which houses 11,00 refugees, has only a 25ft tube-well and a few toilets.

Forty others are suffering from fever at the shelter and the health officials have ordered malaria tests on them.

Of the 40 patients diagnosed with gastroenteritis, 16 are women and 11 children.

Five of the patients have been admitted to a hospital.

The chief medical officer of health, Swapan Sarkar, visited the camp this afternoon.

“I visited the camp today and asked the people to wash their hands before eating and disinfect drinking water, as the tube-well they depend on is only 25ft-deep. We have distributed halogen tablets at the camp to purify water,” said Sarkar.

He added that the government would arrange for vehicles if patients were to be admitted to hospitals and all medicines would be made available to them free of cost.

Sarkar instructed the health staff to store sufficient quantities of Phenol and bleaching powder to keep the camp clean.

The CMOH also said that 40 people were suffering from high fever at the camp and he had asked the staff to conduct antigen tests on the patients as Lower Assam was prone to malaria.

Kalam Ansari, a member of Alipurduar II panchayat samiti, said the main problem that afflicted the camp was lack of sanitation. “We have built a few toilets, but they are not sufficient for such a large number of people. Another major problem is the unavailability of drinking water,” Ansari said.

Over 1,000 people have taken shelter in the Mominpara mosque camp.

On the other hand, the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Bodo People’s Forum and the Dooars Millaiti Islamic jointly distributed relief materials at the camp today. They have given 10 quintals of rice, 600 bottles of drinking water, dal, baby food and other items to the shelter seekers.