5 more infants die in drought-hit Thar

UMERKOT, Nov 18 (INP): The drought-like condition in Tharparkar took five more lives of infants on Tuesday, putting the total number of child deaths from malnutrition to an alarming 96 in nearly two months.

Three infants died in village Alamsar near Chhachhro whereas two others died in the Civil Hospital Mithi. Doctors said that the reasons for their deaths were malnutrition, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

A medical practitioner also said that the district lacked basic health and hygiene education, adding that early marriages, births through unskilled attendants and lack of proper medical facilities were causing weakness in children.

In a recently released report by the District Health Department in Umerkot, it emerged that 85 people have died in Umerkot out of which 61 were infants. The collated death toll in 2014 is reported to be above 470.

The deaths represent those areas where journalists are able to gain access. However, deaths of scores of infants, who have died in villages and private clinics, cannot be reported.

Tharparkar is spread over 22,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 1.5 million people. At an average, every third year is a drought year. The region faces famine at least once every decade.


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