Another child dies of measles in Rangamati | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:18 AM, March 24, 2020

Another child dies of measles in Rangamati

Another Tripura child died of measles in a remote area of Rangamati's Baghaichhari upazila.

Podorani Tripura, 9, passed away at her home in Lungthian Para early yesterday, said Dr Istekhar Ahmed, upazila health and family planning officer.

Earlier, five indigenous children from remote Arun Tripura Para had died of measles since February 26. They all were from the Tripura community.

Local public representatives said children contracted measles in five paras of Sajek union early last month.

Around 130 children, aged between one and 15 years, of Tripura and Chakma communities have got infected with measles, said Harin Joy Tripura, a health assistant of Baghaichhari Upazila Health Complex.

The affected areas are Arun Tripura Para, Lungthian Tripua Para, Tarun Tripura Para, Kamalapur Chakma Para, and Kaikhya Tripura Para.

"A child named Sagorika Tripura died of measles in Arun Tripura Para on February 26. The four other children passed away on February 27, March 15, 16 and 17," said Harin Joy.

Community leaders alleged that neither doctors nor community health service providers visited their paras as those were very remote areas. It takes around 10 hours to reach there from Rangamati town on foot. There is no other communication link between the town and the five paras.

Mithun Joy Tripura, karbari of Lungthian Para, said most of the children at their para were infected with measles. He said the villagers were panicked now.

Dr Istekhar said the sick children were still not out of danger as they were suffering from severe malnutrition.

Rangamati Civil Surgeon Bipash Khisa said they had a meeting with the programme manager of Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) in Baghaichhari yesterday. The meeting drew up a work plan to address the measles situation.

He hoped the situation would improve soon.

Meanwhile, locals in Bandarban claimed that a child died of measles and around 40 other people, including 33 children, were infected with the virus in a remote area of the hill district. 

However, health officials claimed that the child died of an unknown disease.

In 2017, nine children from the Tripura community had died of measles in Chattogram's Sitakunda upazila.

This year, the campaign to vaccinate 34 million children, aged between 9 months and 10 years, against measles and rubella was scheduled to begin on Wednesday. But the programme was postponed over the coronavirus situation.

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