By Pinaki Das
Bilaihum (Tripura), May 3 : Malaria continues to take a heavy toll in Tripura with reports of at least 30 tribals falling prey to high fever and 22 of them succumbing to the vector spread disease.
Over the past few days, several cases of malaria have been reported from the Bilaihum village, 75 km from Agartala.
Block development officer (BDO) of the area, Jayanta Debbarma confirmed that all the deaths were due to malaria and water borne diseases.
"I have received information that a total of 22 causalities have been reported there in that locality due to some waterborne disease and malaria. Then, I rushed with a medical team," said Debbarma.
"Almost every house in the hamlet still had one or two patients suffering from fever or waterborne disease," he added.
Residents complain that they cannot afford the treatment and the nearest hospital is 22 km away at Teliamura, which one has to cover on foot.
"I lost my one-and-a-half-year old son due to malaria since I could not afford to go to hospital for treatment," said Nabinchandra Reang.
Many who managed to reach the hospital complained that they decided to return to their homes as they could not afford to pay the bills.
Meanwhile, the villagers also complained of scarcity of drinking water.
However, authority has arranged for distribution of drinking water by tankers but confined to the villages by the side of the national highway.
Sital Das, a staff of the public health department said, "Every year during this season there is an outbreak of malaria and waterborne diseases in this area".
Das added that for the last five years he has been giving water in the village by the side of the national highway as most the water sources have dried up and from this one can guess the situation in the interior village.
Every year in Tripura during this period there are reports of hundred of deaths due to malaria and waterborne disease but the authority claim that they are doing enough for providing proper health facility and drinking water even to the remotest village in the state.