In the region where Shan and Kayah (Karenni) States meet, almost 2000 individuals, including internally displaced people (IDPs) are currently afflicted with diarrhea as a result of issues with the drinking water supply.
A healthcare nurse from the Mobye Rescue Team told SHAN that approximately 2000 individuals, who reside in 15 local villages, and those who have sought refuge in the jungles around Paikhun township (aka Pekon) on the Shan-Kayah border, are currently experiencing symptoms of diarrhea.
“Diarrhea is primarily caused by the drinking of untreated spring water, which is particularly prevalent in this area due to water scarcity. Both IDPs and locals have suffered from the disease as a result of being unable to boil their drinking water. This has resulted in around 2,000 cases of diarrhea across 15 villages”, she explained.
Individuals affected by this form of diarrhea are only able to receive medical attention and treatment for a restricted duration of about five days.
As a result of transportation challenges and limited resources, the local healthcare center is facing a shortage of medication to treat affected individuals. She added that if timely and effective medical treatment is not available, this disease’s fatality rate increases in children and patients with high blood pressure.
“Severe diarrhea is particularly concerning for children under the age of 2, as there is a risk of mortality within a short period of time after onset. Typically, medical intervention can halt the progression of this condition. However, in the current situation, many individuals with high blood pressure are also facing a significant risk of mortality due to the lack of available medication. This is a pressing issue, as a number of high blood pressure patients in the area are not taking their medication because it is not available”, she said.
She also mentioned that if the issue of inadequate medicine persists, locals and IDPs suffering from diarrhea and high blood pressure may not receive prompt medical attention, potentially resulting in fatalities.
Starting from the last week of February, the Military Council initiated an offensive against the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in Pinlaung Township, leading to the displacement of approximately 5000 individuals from their homes.
There are an estimated 100,000 displaced people spread along the Shan-Kayah interstate.