Jharkhand tribes facing Malaria deaths

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Kuramu (Pallamu) Jharkhand, Nov.12 : Widespread ignorance, dependency on exorcism and witchcraft among tribes in Jharkhand's Palamu district have become a major problem for people struggling against Malaria here.

Malaria has claimed over 24 lives and affected hundreds of others in Kuramu village under Chandwa Block of Latehar Division of State's Palamu district.

"My grandson was already suffering from fever. We called the exorcists and even witch doctors, but nothing could help. He died on the Diwali night. Later my granddaughter also fell ill and we have taken her to Primary Healthcare Centre at Chandwa," said Ram Chandra, a local resident.

Marshy lands, water logging and unhygienic conditions in this region have become a haven for mosquitoes to breed and spread dreaded filaria, malaria and dengue, further the situation is compounded by apathetic attitude of the State administration.

Nine persons belonging to the Lohra and Ganjhu tribes have reportedly succumbed to the disease in the last week alone.

Another factor that let the spread of the disease has been the isolated location of these affected areas with no concerned officials turning up for inspection.

"We know that this place is a remote place, and it's not really accessible by general public. But still the way administration has delayed the matter and this is something very much unjustified," said Boidya Nath Ram, a former legislator of Chandwa area.

Hundreds of hapless villagers are compelled to endure the dreaded malaria while those responsible in the administration appear to have just woken up from slumber.

Doctor and para-medical staff of Primary Health Centre at Chandwa, however, blame the inaccessible roads and remote location for the delay in providing help.

"Kuramu is not very accessible, and thus, treatment in this area has been bit delayed. But we are trying our level-best to treat as many people as possible. Hopefully, things will get better soon," said Dr. R R Prasad, Medical Officer at the Primary Health Centre, Chandwa. By Girija Shankar Ojha

ANI

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