8 more children die in Thar, drought toll rises to 121

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MITHI: The outbreak of water-borne and viral diseases in the drought-hit Tharparkar district took lives of two women and eight more children on Wednesday, raising the death toll to 121 this month.

The water-borne diseases and malnutrition teamed up with the cold weather caused the children to lose their lives in different areas of the district.

An infant died in village Bhadaar Halepoto while two newborns were reported dead in Khensar and Gogasar village.

A six-month-old Abdul Razzak and a new born breathed their last at two separate hospitals in Mithi while another infant died in village Mubarak Rind. Another minor died in village Giloi.

In village Tala near Chelhar town, a woman died while giving birth. The newborn was also not well and was referred to Civil Hospital Hyderabad, where he also breathed its last.

Another woman died while giving birth at a private hospital in Mithi.

Related: Minister promises relief as 7 more children die in Thar

The deputy district health officer of Tharparkar, Dr Jai Parkash, while talking to Dawn.com, claimed that so far only 40 minors have lost their lives due to such diseases. He added that 35 children died in Civil Hospital Mithi, three in RHC Chhachhro and two in RHC Nagarparkar town.

The officer claimed that at least 162 children suffering from pneumonia and other diseases were under treatment in Mithi and other hospitals of the district.

Meanwhile, the divisional commissioner of Mirpurkhas Shafiq Ahmed Mahesar chaired a meeting comprising officials of health and revenue department along with activists of various NGOs working in Thar.

During the meeting, Mahesar expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Lady Health Workers.

He warned the health workers that those not performing their duties properly will be expelled from the service.

Related: Basic health facilities failure major reason behind recurring newborn deaths in Thar

Earlier this month, Sindh health secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangejo said that Sindh government had taken notice of the deaths of the children in Thar and was focusing on providing the health units with medicines and other facilities to curb the spread of diseases.

He had announced that the annual budget for the hospital would be doubled, from Rs14 million to Rs28m, adding that he had increased funds of other health units, which would be released within the next six months.