A sudden ‘outbreak’ of waterborne disease—Jaundice has been reported in scores of inhabitants living in district Bandipora’s Sonawari area. Locals informed that nearly 50 residents of Sonawari have been confirmed with the disease from the last two months.
“Many residents of our area have been infected by Jaundice which has been confirmed by doctors at our local hospital, we fear number may increase,” a local Bashir Ahmad told Kashmir Life.
Residents of Sonawari alleged that the tap water supplied to local population might be the ‘cause’ of the disease. “We are being supplied water from Manasbal water scheme which is not fit for use,” locals alleged. “Though a water filtration plant is operational at Nesbal, Sumbal but it is of no use.”
In fact, some reports suggest that 7 to 8 infected persons have been found with ‘raised’ Jaundice levels, two among them have been confirmed with Hepatitis B (a viral disease that infects patient’s liver), and have been shifted to SKIMS, Soura.“Doctors advised us to use filtered or boiled water which is being supplied from Manasbal Lake,” Aslam, a patient said.
As per villagers, the dirt gets mixed with water that is being supplied to them, besides, they say, no bleaching powder is being added to the contaminated water, which is necessary for water purification.
When contacted, Dr Saini—Medical Officer, Sumbal Hospital confirmed the health ailment, but maintained that it is not an ‘outbreak’. “Though many cases of Jaundice have been found, but as of now, it cannot be termed as outbreak,” Dr Saini told Kashmir Life over phone.
She said that a team of medical officials has already been sent to the affected areas, and a report has been prepared in this particular case. “One of the findings of the report, prepared by our team maintains that Jaundice is not restricted to a single place, but has spread to many other areas of Sonawari, which is posing a challenge to bring it under control,” the medico informed.
Significantly, it has been known that the people from Nowgam, Nesbal, Rakhi- Shilwat, Inderkoot, Sumbal, and many adjoining areas of Sonawari have been infected with the disease.
Dr Saini further informed that the sewerage from a local army camp is being dumped into Manasbal Lake, which aggravates the menace. “We have some reports that an army camp situated in Safapora is dumping its wastes into Manasbal. It is the duty of PHE Department to check the menace, and we have already sent them a letter informing about the health ailment,” she confirmed.
Despite repeated attempts, PHE Division could not be contacted in whose jurisdiction Sonawari lies.