Nine more infants die in drought-hit Thar in a day

MITHI: Nine more infants died from complications caused by malnutrition, waterborne diseases and viral infections in drought-hit Thar towns of Mithi, Kaloi and Nagarparkar on Sunday, raising the death toll to 544 this year so far, according to officials.
Seven of the children died in Mithi Civil Hospital where they were brought for treatment from remote villages of the desert region.
Health officials reiterated the government’s line of arguments about unabated deaths of infants and said that most of the children dying in hospitals were underweight, a result of child marriages and lack of birth spacing.
Parents of the victims and those accompanying their ailing children at the hospital complained about lack of healthcare facilities in their villages because of which they had to travel several miles to take their ailing babies to Mithi.
Banks, NGOs, moneylenders warned Thar SSP Imran Quraishi has warned NGOs, traders and local branches of micro-financing banks to stop recovery of loans from poor Tharis as long as severe drought persists in the desert region.
He said at a press conference at his office on Sunday that lending NGOs and some individuals who dealt in the ugly business of interests had made the lives of poverty-stricken Tharis miserable by first trapping them in the debt and then callously demanding it back despite drought conditions.
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2018

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