Pneumonia kills 15 children in Khot village

CHITRAL, March 24: About 15 children are reported to have died of pneumonia in the Khot village of Torkhow tehsil in upper Chitral. pneumoniaDistrict Health Officer (DHO) Chitral Dr Israrullah while talking to this correspondent confirmed that the 15 children had died in February and March of pneumonia. The  temperatures in the area hovered around zero degrees centigrade and there are acute absence of medical facilities in the remote and mountainous valley of Torkhow where the Khot village is situated. Independent sources added that the epidemic had spread in Khot area due to absence of medical facilities. Dr Israrullah, the DPO health, said: “I visited the area and there is a Basic Health Unit (BHU) run under the Khyber Pahtunkhwa healthcare department (KPHC). But the doctor, Shah Alam, posted at the BHU in Khot was absent from duty.” The DHO said he had written to the KPHC to initiate action against the doctor for remaining absent from duty. But he did not elaborate what steps his department was taking to stem the disease except recommending action against the doctor. A local resident of Khot said there was no health facility provided by the government health department in the area but only NGOs were working there. A RHC at Shahgram has been handed over to AKHH under public-private partnership.—GH Farooqui]]>

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