An Irresponsible state - Editorial

An Irresponsible state

Jajarkot Nepal
District Headquarter of Jajarkot, Martadi Bazar.

21 APRIL 2015 KATHMANDU – We are living in a country which is rich in natural resources but we are so poor in Manage those resources which often lead us to the place of nowhere.

As country’s progress is locked for several years by political deadlock, public life in the mountains are crippling with shortage of food, lack of sanitation, lack of medical facilities and moreover lack of political will which could decide what could be the nation looks alike.

It was only on Saturday, more than two weeks since an epidemic outbreak was first identified in Jajarkot, that doctors at the National Public Health Laboratory and the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) confirmed the presence of H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, in addition to seasonal flu. In the meantime, 24 people have died, with more than a thousand ailing. Doctors on the ground report overwhelming conditions, with a massive inflow of patients and inadequate medical personnel and medicines. Despite Health Minister Khaganath Adhikari’s claim of having deployed 200 health workers to the district, district reports place the number closer to 40. And medics have yet to reach the remote villages of Gorkhakot and Nayak Bada, where hundreds are languishing.

Amidst all this, government officials have gone on the defensive. Minister Adhikari has reportedly accused the media of escalating the situation with its reports and has pledged to bring the outbreak under control within 10 days. The minister’s accusations are unbecoming. Over two dozen deaths in one district within a span of a few weeks is not an overstatement; it is an emergency. And his commitment to rein in the disease with 10 days will be difficult to meet, given the lack of medicines and medical personnel at the outbreak sites. Furthermore, line agencies like the EDCD complain of a lack of budgetary support from the government (see Monday Interview). It is appalling that the government and the Ministry of Finance would hold back funds for suffering citizens. The haste with which the Cabinet acts to release funds for the treatment of political leaders has been plain to see. In June 2013, the Cabinet sanctioned Rs 6 million for President Ram Baran Yadav’s medical treatment in Japan within a matter of days. Again, in May 2014, the government pledged to bear all the expenses of CPN-UML leader KP Oli’s treatment in Bangkok.

Jajarkot District Map
Far west Nepal crippled with swine flu

Time and again, the state has displayed its apathy to the plight of the common people while serving up the interests of its political masters, whether it is in the meager compensation handed out to those suffering from last year’s floods in the Mid West or those currently suffering in Jajarkot for want of treatment and supplies. This cannot be allowed to continue. Jajarkot needs doctors and it needs medicines, both of which cost money. The Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet must act quickly and release whatever funds are required to acquire medical personnel and medicines and to transport them to Jajarkot, on helicopters if necessary. As the outbreak is spreading throughout the district, awareness programmed on prevention and symptoms are also necessary, perhaps even the implementation of a quarantine zone. The expertise and resources of I/NGOs will also be useful here; they must be mobilized in a concerted manner. The response to the continuing outbreak must be swift and efficient. There is no time for mudslinging and passing the buck when so many are suffering.

We Public has never feel that we are having any means of government with us. public safety and basic needs are far from reaching to the needy people, responsible government official are busy counting their bank balance with corrupt cash and their political motives, as we can observed by our little knowledge that Prime Minister has prioritized his Jakarta visit rather than forming a team of doctors to send to the area where the epidemic is outbreak.

Source: Based on An Editorial of Kantipur Publication.