Doctors investigate as 5 die of fever, vomiting in remote Rangamati hills

“From hearing the symptoms of the dead it seems that, due to the frequent vomiting, they died because their treatment was not timely,” a doctor said

Published : 21 March 2024, 02:25 PM
Updated : 21 March 2024, 02:25 PM

A team of doctors from the Health Services Division have begun treating a group of patients suffering from high fever, vomiting blood, and stomach aches in Rangamati’s remote Barkal Upazila.

The seven-member medical team arrived at Chandabi Ghat village in Bhushanchara Union on Thursday afternoon, said Nihar Ranjan Nandi, Rangamati Civil Surgeon.

Five people have died of similar symptoms from January to Mar 17. The Health Services Division dispatched a team to the area once the incident was reported.

“Seven members of the team, under the leadership of Barkal Upazila Health and Family Plannign Officer Mong Kyching Sagar, have divided into three groups and are going door-to-door to treat those with fever, hemoptysis and abdominal pain,” the civil surgeon said.

“The medical team is providing the necessary treatment after they check the symptoms of the disease. After hearing of the symptoms from them, I believe they are suffering from stomach issues. As there is vomiting, we believe it may be due to the diet.”

“From hearing the cases and symptoms of the dead, I understand that, due to the frequency of vomiting, they died because they did not receive timely treatment.”

About 15 people have been affected by these symptoms since January, said local health official Sagar. Twenty-five-year-old Pattaranjan Chakma from Chandinaghat village was the first to die on Jan 10.

Bimaleshwar Chakma, 55, died on Feb 7, Dalim Kumar Chakma, 35, died on Feb 26, Chitti Mohan Chakma, 60, died on Mar 15, and Sony Chakma, 8, died on Mar 17.

Due to the remote and hilly nature of the area, mobile networks are not available. There are no medical aid centres either. The patients were treated by traditional healers, Sagar said.

“If the treatment was administered in a timely manner and without depending on the local medicine man, then no one would have died,” said civil surgeon Nandi. “The medical team has been instructed to bring anyone who is seriously ill to the upazila health complex or the district hospital. We do not want any more deaths.”

Pritishankar Dewan, Bhushanchhara Union Ward No. 2 member, and village chief Shib Ratan Chakma said 86 families live in Chandabi Ghat village. Many of them experienced fever, vomiting up blood, and stomach pains. As there were no clinics or medical centres near the village, the disease caused panic among the locals.

The upazila administration is constantly making inquiries, said Barkal Upazila Executive Officer Forkan Anupam Elahi. The medical team has already started work. And, as the area is near the border, efforts are being made to provide round-the-clock assistance from the BGB.