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Article From News From Bangladesh

 

National News

Arsenic menace takes serious turn in 16 dists

KUSHTIA, Mar 29: Arsenic menace has taken a serious turn in 16 districts of the country, including Kushtia, affecting more than 1.50 crore people. The people of Kushtia, Meherpur, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Khulna and of a vast areas of Rajshahi have been badly affected by arsenic contamination. The Health Department and some NGOs working in these areas are yet to take extensive measurers to combat the menace. Banagari, a thinly populated small village with 29 families in Nagdah union of Hamdanga thana has been identified as one of the places which has been badly affected by arsenic poisoning. Mohiuddin, 26, son of Akber Ali and Abdul Quddus, 28, son of Surujuddin of Benagari were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) after they had developed arsenic related complications. The condition of the two patients is stated to be critical. Clinical and pathological tests proved that they are arsenic positive. Three people of the village died of arsenic poisoning related complications between February and April 1995. According to survey reports of different NGOs, 75 per cent of the population of the village have developed arsenic related problems. The condition of 40 per cent people is stated to be critical and women and children are the worst affected. Mohammad Ali, son of Huzur Ali, Shahidul Islam, son of Komed Sarder of the village died of arsenic related complications in between October and November last year. Five people, who died earlier, had developed symptoms similar to those of the patients who were under treatment at the RMCH for a long time. No medical aid had reached the affected area in time of need. Health assistants and the field workers of different NGOs started advising the villagers not to drink arsenic polluted water of their tubewells.Meanwhile 26 persons of two families of village Islampur under Mokarrampur union of Bheramara upazila have been attacked with arsenic related diseases which caused death of Montaz Ali (60) from among the affected persons. This has created panic among the people not only in Bheramara but also in other areas of the district including Kushtia town. Rezaul Karim, son of Montaz Ali, the victim told this correspondent that he took his father to many doctors in the country and in India but his death could not be prevented. Another seven persons of his family have been attacked with the disease. When contacted Executive Engineer, Public Health Engineering Department told this corespondent that he would visit the place and collect water of those tubewells for test. ( The Independent )

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