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Incessant rains: Valley may face outbreak of water borne diseases

(KashmirScroll)—With the Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu witnessing a incessant spell of rain, the threat of outbreak of water-borne diseases looms large in the region.

Officials said that whenever there are incessant rains or flood like situation, there always remains apprehension of break out water borne diseases.

They said that people must take precautions while consuming water and take water samples on regular basis to test it so as to reduce the impact of rain on the health and prevent the outbreak of diseases.

The Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has issued an advisory urging the valley residents to take precautions while consuming water.

“As there has been incessant rains in Kashmir, and there is apperception of Water borne diseases. Attached is the health advisory regarding prevention of waterborne diseases, to be circulated in your districts Activate your Rapid response teams (RRTS) under IDSP in your districts.” Reads the letter of Deputy Director National Health Programme to all Chief Medical Officers of Kashmir.

“You are requested to gear up the CHOS, Health educators of your district to give awareness among the community for prevention on water borne diseases. It is requested to take the water samples (from water source and user points) for testing in Public Health Laboratory under IDSP in your districts on regular basis in order to ensure minimal occurrence of water borne diseases and outbreaks.” It adds.

The DHSK has asked people to drink water only after boiling it for 20 minutes, wash drinking water storage containers, wash hands with soap before eating food and after using washroom and the contact period between soap and water should be between 15 to 20 seconds, avoid open defecation and urination in order to prevent contamination water sources, keep finger nails short and clean and wash raw foot material such as fresh vegetables thoroughly before cooking.

The advisory further said chlorinate water, if ORS isn’t available, prepare home made ORS and avoid prolonged contact with flood and dirty water and in the event of contact, clean the parts of the body with soap and water.

“Water washed diseases are caused by poor hygiene (inadequate water supply). They are caused when freshwater is scarce and contaminated water comes in to contact with the skin and eyes. These are scabies, Eczema, Trachoma, lice and tick borne diseases.” It adds.

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is Owner of Kashmir Scroll and South Kashmir bureau head for news agency Kashmir News Observer

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