Over 500 residents of pneumonia-hit Khot valley seen at free medical camps
KHOT VALLEY (CHITRAL), March 27: After the outbreak of pneumonia in the Khot valley of Torkhow where about 16 children were reported to have died, free medical camps were held at different places of the valley under the supervision of District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Israrullah Khan.
Some 530 patients (mostly children) were examined in these free medical camps at the Basic Health Unit Khot and the Aga Khan Health Centre.
Dr. Fayaz Ali Rooni, the district coordinator of FATA health programme (Save the Children), Dr. Shabbir Ahmad and doctors of AKHS participated in the free medical camps. Medicines worth thousands of rupees were distributed among the patients free of cost.
A local social worker Mir Gulab Khan told this scribe that some 14 children died in the village and most of them were affected by pneumonia. He said he had informed AKHS high-up after which the AKHS detailed their health team before the government health department doctors reached the area.
A medical expert said they collected data and history from parents whose children below one year had died and it was assumed that these children had died of pneumonia.
In this connection, a gathering was also held at BHU Khot under the chair of Sher Aziz Baig, former Nazim union council Khot. The participants criticized the Khyber Pahtunkhwa Health Project, formerly PPHI (people’s primary health initiative) saying its only doctor posted in the area remained absent when the pneumonia hit the valley. As all BHUs are working under the KPH project, it was the responsibility of the doctor and staff to inform their high-ups as well as the health department about the scenario and outbreak of the disease.
The residents of the area demanded that the DHO should order door-to-door vaccination of children in the area because there was some about two feet snow and it was very difficult for the residents to carry their newborn children to the BHU for vaccination. They also demanded free medical camp at upper area of Khot valley and upgradation of the BHU Khot to the Rural Health Centre. They urged the health department to regularize all the temporary civil dispensers in the valley. Local people criticized the district administration and said the Deputy Commissioner Chitral did not bother to visit the area after the outbreak of the disease.