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UN alerts Nepal on outbreak of diarrhoea

world Updated: Apr 29, 2010 15:46 IST

PTI
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The UN has alerted Nepal government about possible outbreak of diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases in western districts of the country owing to rising temperature in the summer.

Following last year's outbreak that claimed 369 lives in western Nepal the human rights body and its partners are watching the situation carefully, said a press release issued by the UN Office in Nepal.

The humanitarian community in Nepal has asked the government to pay greater attention to the causes of diarrhoea as the temperature rises and water sources dry up. Reports of waterborne illnesses and even deaths are again on the rise in the western regions of the country, the statement issued by the UN pointed out.

Most infections causing diarrhoea are transmitted through contaminated water or lack of adequate hygiene practices.

Infection can spread through drinking contaminated water or handling food with contaminated hands and water rather than consuming cooked food, it said.

As diarrhoea, can be treated through a combination of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution, a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of treated water, it is critical that trained staff and medical supplies are available to treat cases immediately, says the UN.

Lavatories coverage in most-affected districts in the western regions is 18-25 per cent as compared to a national average of 46 per cent, according to a report.

The UNICEF and humanitarian partners have pre-positioned emergency water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to serve up to 100,000 people, the statement said.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has funded drinking water and sanitation activities in 38 Village District Councils of Jajarkot, Achham and Dailekh districts benefitting 6,640 households.