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Article From News From Bangladesh archives


Number of arsenic patients on the rise in Satkhira

SATKHIRA, Apr 20 : The number of arsenic patients is increasing alarmingly in Kalaroa and Debhata upazilas of the district in recent times, reports BSS.

A total of 748 people are reported to have been attacked with arsenic related diseases in the two upazilas of the district.

Of the total 748 arsenic patients, 683 are reported from Kalaroa upazila and 65 from Debhata upazila.

The victims include farmers, day labourers and housewives.

Most of the arsenic affected people are poor and in the absence of treatment facilities, they are passing their days in anxiety.

According to official sources of the total patients 12 are reported from Helatola union, 73 from Keralkata, 16 from Sonabaria, 96 from Joynagar, 24 from Chandanpur, 46 from Jugikhali, 52 from Keragachi, 83 from Kushkhali, 60 from Diara, 37 from Langaljhara, 85 from Jalalabad and 79 from Kaila union under Kalaroa upazila and 15 from Sakhipur, 12 from Debbata Sadar, nine from Noapara, 16 from Kulia and 13 from Parulia under Debhata upazila.

The patients were detected in Kalaroa upazila during the recent survey conducted by Society on Health and Care (SOHAC) and in Debhata upazila conducted by Community Health Department Society (CHDS) with the help of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and NGOs under Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP).

According to the survey report, water of 16,962 tube-wells out of the total 17,811 under Kalaroa upazila was tested, of which 16,146 tube-wells were found to contain high percentage of arsenic. In Debhata upazila, 8,678 tube-wells were found as arsenic contaminated.

The survey found 95.19 per cent tube-wells in Kalaroa upazila and 72 per cent tube-wells in Debhata upazila were containing water with arsenic beyond permissible limit. Anxious people of these areas have been desperately trying to collect water from deep tube-wells, which are few and far between.

According to official sources, the district PHED with the assistance of UNICEF has taken up a programme to install 144 arsenic free tube-wells in Kalaroa and 67 arsenic free tube-wells in Debhata upazila.

People of the arsenic affected areas have been advised to take boiled and rain water to avoid arsenic contamination, the source added. (BSS)



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