PAN, January 23, 2012
Severe cold leaves Hesarak children sick
He said the district had only two health centres, which lacked adequate medicine
By Abdul Mueed Hashimi
Lack of healthcare facilities and health costs can be devastating for poor families (Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN)
Seventy percent of children in a district of eastern Nangarhar province have caught various diseases due to exposure to harsh weather conditions, officials and residents said on Monday.
Up to 100 centimetres of snow had been recorded so far in the Hesarak district, where roads connecting the town with Jalalabad remained closed, said the district development council head.
Dr. Mohammad Naeem told Pajhwok Afghan News provincial officials had failed to honour their promises held out a week ago to assist residents in the event of snowfall.
He said the district had only two health centres, which lacked adequate medicine. The official claimed 70 percent of children suffered from flue, pneumonia and diarrhea.
The town's administrative head, Haji Abdul Khaliq Maroof, acknowledged the problems being faced residents, saying the Hesarak-Jalalabad highway had been closed due to heavy snowfall. He confirmed harsh weather conditions had left most of children sick.
Public Health Director Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad said diseases among children were the result of inadequate access to shelter and proper health facilities. "We have transferred medicine to Hesarak health clinics," he added.
The governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zeya Abdulzai, said Red Crescent Society volunteers were operating in all villages of the district. He said they had received no report about any serious health problems in the district.
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