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Seven more children die in Thar; toll rises to 222 this year

Seven more children die in Thar; toll rises to 222 this year

MITHI: Seven children died from diseases caused by malnutrition at Mithi civil hospital and Islamkot in the drought-hit Thar over the past two days, raising the death toll, according to official figures, to 222 this year.

Thar DHO Dr Chandar Lal told Dawn on Thursday that most of the patients were newborns and underweight. So far, 51,680 kids were given medicines and 5,348 were admitted to six healthcare facilities of the district, he said.

The children’s parents complained that their kids were being forcibly discharged from the civil hospital and were being referred to Hyderabad without providing them fuel for ambulances.

Dr Iqbal Ahmed Bhurgari, civil surgeon, said that 165 children had died at the civil hospital during past five months. But sources said over 355 kids had so far died across Thar this year.

Meanwhile, 598 health workers and dispensers, who were appointed in July last year, have not received salary so far. The unpaid workers had been posted at 180 closed dispensaries of the district, where medicines and furniture had been provided but to no avail, complained villagers.

But Tharparkar DC Dr Shahzad Tahir Thaheem claimed the situation was well under control. Media was not giving due coverage to their sincere efforts to mitigate sufferings of Tharis, he complained.

He said that four mobile dispensaries launched a couple of weeks ago were providing best healthcare facilities to people, who did not have easy access to hospitals.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2016

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