One more child dies of measles in Rangamati | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:25 AM, March 25, 2020

One more child dies of measles in Rangamati

Death toll reaches 7, medical team flown to the area yesterday

One more Tripura child died of measles in remote Lungthian Para of Rangamati's Baghaichhari upazila early hours yesterday, raising the total death toll due to the disease to seven.

The latest victim, Kheti Bala Tripura, 13, passed away when she was under treatment at her house, said Md Ahsan Habib, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Baghaichhari.

On Monday, another Tripura girl of Lungthian Para died.

Earlier, from February 26 to March 17, five indigenous children belonging to the Tripura community in remote Arun Tripura Para of Sajek union died of measles.

"A 16-member team including two MBBS doctors and army personnel reached Sajek by helicopter this [Tuesday] noon. They will go to the affected area on foot," said the UNO.

"The measles affected children are suffering from malnutrition, adding to the situation," said Dr Istekhar Ahmed, upazila health and family planning officer of Baghaichhari.

"Why have we to watch our children die without proper treatment?" Mithun Joy Tripura, a karbari (local headman) of Lungthian Para, said yesterday morning.

Hiranondo Tripura, a ward member of the area who was on the spot, said, "The affected children should be taken to the district town by helicopter for their proper treatment."

Brigade Major Rumon Parvez, who is stationed at Khagrachhari, said, "Our team already reached the measles affected area with helicopter. We approached the authorities to bring the affected children to the district town's hospital by helicopter but they did not agree due to lack of disease infection prevention equipment in the aircraft."

Around 130 children, aged between one and 15 years, of Tripura and Chakma communities have got infected with measles in Arun Tripura Para, Lungthian Tripua Para, Tarun Tripura Para, Kamalapur Chakma Para, and Kaikhya Tripura Para of Sajek union since early last month, said local public representatives.

Contacted before the medical team reached the area, a health assistant seeking anonymity said, "I have to stay here following order from the high authorities. Doctors give me medical advice over phone, which is not enough to deal with the affected children."

It takes around 10 hours to reach there from Rangamati town on foot as there is no road or water transport link.

This correspondent made several calls to reach Rangamati Civil Surgeon Bipash Khisa but he did not receive the calls.

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

Health officials, however, said that the child died of an unknown disease.

The campaign to vaccinate 34 million children, aged between 9 months and 10 years, against measles and rubella was scheduled to begin last Wednesday. But the programme was postponed over the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.

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