Although 94 per cent people drink water from deep tube wells, 61 per cent people use canal water for daily household chores. A study by the government’s Institute of Pathology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has revealed such information.
A delegation from the research institute conducted a survey on the list of patients admitted to various hospitals in Barguna.
Only 20 percent of households in the surveyed area have deep tube wells. The institute collected water samples from the Barguna canal and tested them in the lab of the Dhaka Institute of Public Health and found the presence of fecal germs in the canal water. In the stool test of 20 patients, the presence of cholera and E. coli virus was found in the stool of three patients.
The report sent to the Barisal Divisional Health Department also made several recommendations. These include ensuring safe use of water for food and household purposes, increasing the number of deep tube wells in hazardous areas on an emergency basis, using safe water with boiling or purifying table water, and taking steps to raise health awareness.
The Barisal Divisional Office of the Department of Health has confirmed the veracity of the IEDCR report. “We have already sent a letter to the divisional commissioner requesting implementation of the IEDCR recommendations,” said Shyamal Krishna Mandal, assistant director of the organization.
Meanwhile, another IEDCR delegation has arrived in Barisal to look into the cause of the deteriorating diarrhea situation. The six-member delegation reached Barisal last Monday. The team is visiting different upazilas of the department to collect water samples from patients’ stools, various sources as well as health awareness meetings with public representatives.
The team consists of three IEDCR pathologists and three technical assistants. The team is led by pathologist Zahidur Rahman. Patriot pathologist Subrata Malakar, a member of the delegation, told reporters on Wednesday, “We will collect samples and test them in Dhaka.” The real cause of the spread of diarrhea is the analysis of the data.
Another member of the delegation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one of the negative tendencies of the people of the region is to use canal water in their daily work. Especially in the morning there is a habit of mixing canal water with rice. It is thought that the disease is spreading rapidly due to the extreme heat.
Shyamal Krishna Mandal, assistant director of the departmental health department, said 1,524 more people were admitted to the hospital in 24 districts of Barisal division with diarrhea in 24 hours. With this, from January to April 21 this year, the number of diarrhea patients in Barisal division was 33,006. Of these, 16,622 people were infected from March 23 to April 21. And 6 thousand 69 people have been infected in the last 7 days.
According to the health department, the department has reported eight deaths from diarrhea in two weeks. However, according to various sources, the death toll is 26. They also say work is underway to create a complete database by collecting death data at hospitals and at home. District and upazila health department is working for this.