Over one lakh at risk of arsenicosis in Comilla | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2012

Over one lakh at risk of arsenicosis in Comilla

Presence of arsenic beyond the permissible level in the waters of the tube-wells keeps more than 1 lakh people in the 16 upazilas of the district at risk of arsenicosis.
According to a survey, conduced by NGO Forum, there were 4,638 arsenicosis patients and 2,055 suspected cases in the district till October this year.
Accordingly, 6,693 people are directly or indirectly affected or under threat by arsenic in the district.
Highest 2,341 people confirmed to have arsenicosis are in Muradnagar, followed by Monohorganj with 1,348 cases.
But the unofficial figure would be double, sources said.
After an investigation, it is apprehended that the number of people at arsenic risk would cross one lakh if the family members of the arsenicosis patients and their neighbours are counted.
Experts working on arsenic said if a person drinks arsenic contaminated water for a certain period he or she gets the risk of being attacked with arsenicosis.
Other family members of an arsenicosis patient also have the risk of being attacked with the disease.
During a recent spot visit, it was found by a team that arsenic has damaged various organs of many of the affected.
Besides, the deadly disease has snatched happiness of scores of people in their family and social life.
In 2008, a woman named Moyna of Yuruian village of Laksam upazila had to leave her husband only because she was attacked with arsenicosis.
There are many such unpleasant happenings that occurred either at family or social level at Kandirpar, Uttarda and Monohorganj of Laksam upazila.
In Monohorganj upazila's Jhalom Uttar Union, six members of a family have been attacked with arsenicosis.
Although the NGO set up a deep tube-well there aiming to supply arsenic-free water, it lies inoperative for the last six months.
Sadar upazila health official Doctor Golam Shahjahan said an arsenicosis patient could be cured through proper treatment.
Arsenic affects kidney, lungs and other parts of the body, he added.
Comilla civil surgeon Dr. Abul Kalam Siddiqui said health workers were working to identify the arsenic affected people and giving treatment regularly at the upazila health complex.

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