Epidemiology and Disease Control Division is testing water samples from Kathmandu amid rising diarrhea cases.
Public health inspector Kaushal Subedi said the division will obtain water samples from 150 Valley locations. Distributors, bottling plants, taps, and homes will provide water samples. We’ll also study whether various bottled water brands are safe to drink.
Since the pre-monsoon rains began over a month ago, Kathmandu Valley hospitals have reported an increase in diarrhea cases.
Nabaraj Gautam, hospital information officer, said 300 people came for diarrhea treatment in the last two months.
The actual number of diarrhea cases could be much higher because only serious cases are treated in hospitals.
Rainfall and garbage collection disruptions increased the risk of the drinking water contamination in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur. and Lalitpur,
Officials say the condition of water supply pipes, water storage, and water pollution affect household water quality.
The KUKL stilll uses old pipelines in city cores. Old pipelines leak, so sewage and drinking water may mix. Even though KUKL chlorinates the water before distributing it, leaking pipes can contaminate it.
Dr. Anu Shakya, a division official, said, “We’ll conduct tests to identify the exact causes and sources of contamination.” “We’ll notify agencies to mitigate contamination.”
Nepal is prone to water-borne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis, and cholera due to poor sanitation and hygiene.
Health officials test water samples during every monsoon.
In a study from last year, 60 percent of Kathmandu Valley water samples were contaminated with E.Coli and coliform, microbes found in human feces that cause diarrhea.
The division informed Kathmandu Metropolitan City, its ward offices, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited, and other stakeholders about hazardous microbes in drinking water.
Experts say authorities’ responsibility goes beyond identifying problems and treating patients. They said infections should be stopped.
Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj hospital, said hospitals provide symptomatic treatment to save lives. People are getting infected, so preventative measures must be taken.
Doctors say an awareness campaign should be launched to change public behavior, such as boiling water before drinking and avoiding stale food.
Meghnath Dhimal, chief researcher at the Nepal Health Research Council, said drinking water should be tested regularly and the public informed of problems. We can’t eliminate waterborne diseases without safe drinking water.
Health Ministry officials have urged provincial and local health agencies to regularly test water samples.
Subedi of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division said they provided testing kits to districts. “We plan to buy Rs 1 million in reagents for provincial and local use.”