News, Regional News

Children’s death toll in Thar rises to 333 in 5 months

MITHI: The death toll of children during the past five months (January to May 2019) due to malnutrition and diseases rose to 333 in the famine-struck Thar region of the Sindh province as two more infants died of this situation.

The government’s relief measures seem to be insufficient in the Tharparkar district, hit by famine, as people need more wheat, essential food items, and drinking water facilities from the government.

Dileep, a 15-month-old boy, son of Raman Bheel, resident of village Jagari, and a two-day-old boy, son of Fateh Ali Lashari, succumbed to malnutrition and diseases at the Civil Hospital Mithi exposing the major hospital’s efficiency and performance. It is a matter of grave concern as the death of infants is growing to become a regular occurrence. The Sindh government also needs to provide more health facilities to the Civil Hospital Mithi so that the issue of infant deaths could be averted.

The provincial regime should take hectic measures to provide full treatment to the sick children of the Thar region in view of its claim of keeping the health sector on top most priority.

The famine in the Tharparkar district has severely affected people’s lives. The worst-hit are children. Malnutrition and disease are on the rise due to poverty and food insecurity. However, the government has initiated relief measures to provide some food items to the poor, but the fact is that they are insufficient.

The Sindh government should come forward with sincere efforts and do the needful instead of merely delivering lip service in the Thar region. An estimate of Rs100 billion is required to spend on the people of Thar per annum to alleviate poverty as Imran Khan has announced for the FATA region.

The Tharparkar district has been experiencing moderate drought. During the previous month, no rainfall was reported in the district.

Climate change is causing drought-like conditions in Tharparkar and its surrounding areas, where people face water scarcity and loss of green lands.

Climate change is a geographical problem which is affecting several areas of the Sindh province. Further efforts to overcome the challenges of warming weather need to be made through enacting legislation, setting standards, and developing and implementing policies for a secure and lively environment. The existing and proposed measures being taken by the government are not enough to address issues of Thar.

 

May 21, 2019

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