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    Measles claims 50 lives in Ghor

    CHAGHCHARAN (PAN): Fifty children have died of measles in western Ghor province, where the provincial council warned of closing down the public health department if urgent remedial steps were not taken.  

    Mohammad Hanif, who has admitted three children to the Ghor Civil Hospital, said: “My wife and I have been here for a week.” The government should send mobile health teams to the province, where many children were suffering from measles, he added.  

    Resident Abdul Basir told Pajhwok Afghan News the disease had resulted in 15 deaths in Saghar district alone, but the public health department and other officials were yet to take measures to deal with the situation that was fuelling concerns among the people.  

    Another resident, Salim Shah, said 22 children had died and dozens were infected by the disease in the Fiyaq are of the province. He added the authorities had started treating the infected children.

    Elsewhere in the province, two children died of measles in Pasaband district, where heavy snowfall has closed the road leading to the provincial capital, Chaghcharan. Health clinics remain closed.

    Public Health Director Dr. Ghulam Nabi Yagana confirmed most of the roads linking the provincial capital with remote areas remained closed. He said they had received reports about the death of 50 children over the past month.

    He added a team of medics had been flown by an ISAF helicopter to the Fiyaq area, where hundreds of children were being treated. But he complained of a shortage of doctors and medicine. The issue had been shared with Afghanistan Development Organisation (ADO), he said.

    On the other hand, ADO official Dr. Wakil, said most of the mountainous and impassable areas were blocked and doctors were absent duty as a result.

    Provincial council chief, Maulvi Ramazan Qasimi, said people lacked access to health services and they had informed the authorities in Kabul about the problem. He warned of closing the public health department and staging protests if emergency measures were not taken.

    mm/mud