Pajhwok Afghan News, December 4, 2007
Pneumonia kills 60 children in Badakhshan, say residents
Two to three minors died daily in the 18 villages of the district, with a total population of nearly 7000 people, he said.
FAIZABAD - Around 60 children have died of pneumonia in the Kiran-wa-Manjan district of the northeastern Badakhshan, residents claimed on Monday. But the Public Health Ministry officials rejected their claim as exaggerated.
UNICEF, Oct.26, 2007: "Afghan children on the brink of catastrophe"
Kiran-wa-Manjan districts administrative head Syed Feroz told Pajhwok Afghan News children under seven years of age died of pneumonia during the last one week. Two to three minors died daily in the 18 villages of the district, with a total population of nearly 7000 people, he said.
The Anjuman area of the district, bordering Panjsher and Nuristan provinces, were the worst-hit by the disease, Feroz added. Biting cold and chilly conditions have made even harder the transportation of affectees to hospitals.
Resident Safar Muhammad complained: There is only one clinic in the district centre, where we can reach in 12 hours at a push." He urged NGOs to pay due attention to their plight and said: Our patients often expire on the road to the clinic."
But Public Health Director Dr Abdul Momin Jalali wont confirm the death toll. He said they would soon send a team of medics to the district to assess the situation.
An NGO working under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was already working to expand medical cover for the district, he pointed out.
Dr Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry in Kabul, rejected the residents claim about the death toll. He said they had received no such report from Badakhshan so far.
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