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7 die of malaria in Tripura villages

- Disease outbreak result of heavy rain

Agartala, May 30: Seven persons, including women and children, belonging to the indigenous community, have died of malaria in Dhalai district of the state in the past two days.

The outbreak of the disease is being attributed to Tripura receiving a record 756mm rainfall against the annual average of 574.2mm in the pre-monsoon season between March 1 and May 30.

Dr U.K. Chakma, subdivisional medical officer in Ambassa subdivision of Dhalai, said a malaria outbreak has been reported from the interior villages under Gandacherra and Chhailengta subdivisions of the district.

"According to reports we have received, remote villages such as Bhagirath, Dalapati, Ratan Nagar, Pancharatan and Tuibaklai in Gandacherra subdivisiion and Gobindabari, Natinmanu, Putinmanu, Rajdhar and Malidhar villages in Chhailengta subdivision bordering Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh have been the worst affected," Chakma said.

He said hospitals in Gandacherra, Chhawmanu and Chhailengta were full of malaria patients.

Gamanbati Reang, 40, Jasirung Reang, 35, four-year-old Kashirai Reang, three-year-old Birjoy Tripura, Laxmibala Tripura, 13, Namanjaoy Reang, 43, and Bokhil Chakma, 12 - hailing from Purba Gobindabari, Bhagirath and Dalapati villages - died in the past two days, Chakma said.

He added that he did not have the full report of the latest casualties but was aware that a large number of indigenous people were suffering from malaria in remote villages.

Joint director of health services Pranab Chatterjee has toured different parts of Dhalai district and arranged for emergency despatch of additional medicine, including preventives, for the affected areas. "I have collected detailed information and requirement of medicine and preventives in the affected villages; we are doing everything possible to minimise damage," Chatterjee said.

He said keeping in mind the annual outbreak of malaria in the remote areas of Gandacherra and Chhailengta subdivisions of Dhalai district the health department had made arrangements for medicine supply in advance. "But this has not proved adequate and, as in previous years, special health camps will have to be arranged on an emergency basis," Chatterjee said.

He added that health minister Badal Chowdhury is visiting Ambassa, headquarters of Dhalai district, and Gandacherra subdivision today to take stock of the situation. "High-level meetings will be held to cope with the situation; we are arranging for special health camps to contain escalation of malaria in the affected villages. If necessary, help will be sought from the Union health ministry also," the joint director said.


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