Health crisis in Doti & Gorkha districts
Geneva, 03 August 2012
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
Residents of remote villages of Doti and Gorkha districts in the far western region of Nepal are in fear after the identification of cholera bacteria in diarrheal disease patents. People in the districts are worried that the disease could turn into an epidemic as it also happened 3 years ago in the western region. This time, Gorkha District is also affected. So far, the outbreak has caused 14 death in Doti and 8 deaths in Gorkha during this monsoon season.
2. Why is an ACT response needed
According to the District Public Health Office in Doti, all together 401 people have been taken ill due to severe diarrhoea in the Municipality and various Village Development Committees (VDCs) in the district. Shilgadhi Municipality, Basshudevi, Bagalek, Kalena, Sanagaun, Kandamandau, Khirsain, Pokhari, Durgamandu and Ganjari VDCs are the worst affected. According to locals, the shortage of essential drugs needed for proper treatment and at the same time absence of health officials at the local health post is responsible for the rise in the number of deaths in Doti district. “The outbreak occurred due to open defecation and use of contaminated water for drinking purpose,” said Tej Bikram Sahai, a senior auxiliary health worker at Doti district.
Doti district head quarter (DHQ) has good road linkages with other neighbouring districts. Road linkages between (DHQ) and some diarrhoea out break VDCs are reasonably good but most of them are out of service during the monsoon time. Security situation in the district and affected VDCs are normal. Doti district is an operational district of LWF Nepal and ICCO and a phased out district of DCA.
The outbreak of diarrhoea in Gorkha District is sudden. Detailed information is yet to be gathered urgently by members of the ACT Forum.
3. National and international response
A team of representatives from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (ECDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) has studied the diarrhoea outbreak and confirm the prevalence of cholera in Doti. District hospital has been providing medical services to the affected population and ECDC claimed that required medical teams with necessary resources have been mobilized in the outbreak areas. However, the media reported that the available services and resources are not adequate.
4. ACT Alliance response and planned activities
To date none of ACT Alliance Nepal forum members, which includes LWF Nepal, DanChurchAid, ICCO & Kerk in Actie and Norwegian Church Aid, have responded to this crisis. However, ACT Nepal forum has come to consensus that the forum will monitor the situation closely and if situation further aggravates and gaps in services delivery are found, ACT Nepal forum will put all efforts to bridge the gap mobilizing its resources and expertise. If the situation deteriorates further, the forum might come up with RRF request.
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