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Water borne diseases on the rise in Assam

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 10: While cases of vector borne diseases like Japanese Encephalitis,  Malaria and Dengue  are high in Assam, of late it has been found that water borne diseases are also on the rise in the State although the situation has not assumed alarming proportion.
Water borne diseases common in Assam and of late on the rise in the State are Acute Diarrhoeal Disease(ADD), Enteric Fever (Typhoid) and Viral Hepatitis.
As per data obtained from the Directorate of Health Service (DHS), Assam, in the matter of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease, 147 persons died of ADD in Assam, while the number of cases reported stood at 10,587 in 2013. In 2014, the number of dead on account of ADD was 73 while 83, 373 persons were afflicted by the disease. 121 persons died while total number of cases reported was 1,28,392 in 2015 . In 1016, that figure of dead stood at 282 against a total cases of 88,736. 161 persons died of the dreaded disease, which was numerically second highest in the country after UP, while a total of 1,17,031 cases were reported.
So far as Enteric Fever (Typhoid) is concerned, 29 persons died while 5,328 cases were reported in 2014. Likewise, 9 died and 11,333 cases were reported in 2015; 19,328 cases reported in 2016 and 68 died, second highest in the country after UP,  and 10,970  cases were reported in  2017
In the case of Viral Hepatitis, 13 persons died against 2,033 cases reported in 2014, 9 dead and 809 cases reported in 2015, 14 dead and 688 cases reported in 2016 and 988 cases reported in 2017.
Since these are water borne diseases, the medical fraternity is of the view that the problem rises due to consumption of water not safe for human beings.
Consumption of contaminated water for drinking purpose is the main cause behind the spread of water borne diseases in the State, they opine. Hence, the Government should provide safe drinking water to the people and in that respect the responsibility lies with the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, the medical fraternity observes.
However, the health department is of the view that water borne diseases have not assumed the alarming proportion of vector borne diseases as some people observe. The department opines that such water borne diseases are common in all the States in the country and that concerted efforts are on along with other concerned departments and agencies like the PHE and National Health Mission to keep the situation under control.

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Ankur Kalita