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Unknown diseases kill 20 children in Tripura

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, June 25 � At least 20 children have died in the past 10 days following the outbreak of various unknown viral and tropical diseases in a remote tribal-dominated village in Tripura, officials here said on Friday, reports IANS.

�The children mostly died at their homes in remote Kangrai tribal village along the Tripura-Mizoram border in northern Tripura,� doctors and officials who visited the affected areas told reporters at divisional headquarters Kanchanpur. Many other children and elders also fell ill. Some were admitted to the sub-divisional hospital.

Family welfare and preventive medicine director R.K. Dhar told IANS: �Several medical teams with specialist physicians from state, district and divisional headquarters have rushed to the affected village, 215 km from here.�

Doctors and officials have to trek at least 20 km of hilly terrain to reach the remote village.

Dhar said: �The children might have died due to various viral, seasonal and respiratory infections. The medical teams sent to the village will collect blood and other samples to confirm the disease.�

A team of Congress leaders led by legislator Subal Bhowmik Thursday visited the affected village and demanded immediate control of the disease.

�Neither the health minister nor his officials and directors have visited the remote areas. There is no seriousness on the government�s part to deal with the outbreak of the unknown diseases,� Bhowmik told reporters.

The health infrastructure in the rural areas of Tripura is very poor, he added.

PTI adds: The opposition Congress today demanded immediate suspension of state Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty owning responsibility for recent deaths of children in an outbreak of disease in North Tripura district.

Claiming at least 100 people, mostly children, died of malaria, measles and malnutrition in last few weeks in tribal hamlet Kangrai, in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura during last few weeks, Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) member and MLA Subal Bhowmick said the authorities were trying to supress the figure.

Bhowmick, who visited the remote area on Thursday, demanded suspension of the health minister for failing to provide any healthcare facility for the poor tribals and set up any health camp since �he wanted to conceal the information from the press�.

While initially the Subdivisional Medical Officer (SDMO) had reported 13 people had died in the village, after his visit to the village the SDMO put up the toll to 28, the Congress leader said.

Again, despite receiving information about deaths on June 12, SDMO did not take any action and despite the Congress taking up the matter with him on June 19, no health camp set up, he said.

Alleging death certificates were not issued in favour of many deceased, he said, �this is an act of criminal negligence and I demand that charges of murder be brought against the minister immediately as well as suspending from the assembly pending enquiry.�

The Sub-divisional Medical Officer(SDMO), Subrata Roy yesterday told PTI that 14 children died at Chhota Kangrai, Bara Kangrai, Paschim Kangrai and Dhananjoypara villages due to Acquired Respiratory Iinfection in last 20 days but the situation was now under control.

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Unknown diseases kill 20 children in Tripura

AGARTALA, June 25 � At least 20 children have died in the past 10 days following the outbreak of various unknown viral and tropical diseases in a remote tribal-dominated village in Tripura, officials here said on Friday, reports IANS.

�The children mostly died at their homes in remote Kangrai tribal village along the Tripura-Mizoram border in northern Tripura,� doctors and officials who visited the affected areas told reporters at divisional headquarters Kanchanpur. Many other children and elders also fell ill. Some were admitted to the sub-divisional hospital.

Family welfare and preventive medicine director R.K. Dhar told IANS: �Several medical teams with specialist physicians from state, district and divisional headquarters have rushed to the affected village, 215 km from here.�

Doctors and officials have to trek at least 20 km of hilly terrain to reach the remote village.

Dhar said: �The children might have died due to various viral, seasonal and respiratory infections. The medical teams sent to the village will collect blood and other samples to confirm the disease.�

A team of Congress leaders led by legislator Subal Bhowmik Thursday visited the affected village and demanded immediate control of the disease.

�Neither the health minister nor his officials and directors have visited the remote areas. There is no seriousness on the government�s part to deal with the outbreak of the unknown diseases,� Bhowmik told reporters.

The health infrastructure in the rural areas of Tripura is very poor, he added.

PTI adds: The opposition Congress today demanded immediate suspension of state Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty owning responsibility for recent deaths of children in an outbreak of disease in North Tripura district.

Claiming at least 100 people, mostly children, died of malaria, measles and malnutrition in last few weeks in tribal hamlet Kangrai, in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura during last few weeks, Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) member and MLA Subal Bhowmick said the authorities were trying to supress the figure.

Bhowmick, who visited the remote area on Thursday, demanded suspension of the health minister for failing to provide any healthcare facility for the poor tribals and set up any health camp since �he wanted to conceal the information from the press�.

While initially the Subdivisional Medical Officer (SDMO) had reported 13 people had died in the village, after his visit to the village the SDMO put up the toll to 28, the Congress leader said.

Again, despite receiving information about deaths on June 12, SDMO did not take any action and despite the Congress taking up the matter with him on June 19, no health camp set up, he said.

Alleging death certificates were not issued in favour of many deceased, he said, �this is an act of criminal negligence and I demand that charges of murder be brought against the minister immediately as well as suspending from the assembly pending enquiry.�

The Sub-divisional Medical Officer(SDMO), Subrata Roy yesterday told PTI that 14 children died at Chhota Kangrai, Bara Kangrai, Paschim Kangrai and Dhananjoypara villages due to Acquired Respiratory Iinfection in last 20 days but the situation was now under control.