Balochistan[Pakistan], July 12 (ANI): Due to the lack of clean drinking water in Balochistan, the number of hepatitis cases has increased sharply in the region.
According to hospital statistics, 10,000 patients were diagnosed with hepatitis C and B across the province during the first six months of this year. Of the total, 3,000 patients were reported in the Jaffarabad district alone, reported Geo News.
The second-highest numbers of hepatitis patients were reported in Lasbela -- the native town of Balochistan's Chief Minister Jam Kamal -- where 1,000 people were diagnosed with hepatitis during a screening of 13,000 people.
Out of the 12.3 million population of Balochistan, 85 per cent does not have access to clean drinking water forcing the population to use contaminated water from ponds and lakes.
Bhag Tehsil of Bolan district is an unfortunate area where 50,000 people have not had access to clean water since the establishment of Pakistan.
The Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) had set up three water-supply schemes for Bhag Tehsil, but all of them fell victim to corruption.
The Supreme Court took notice of the non-supply of clean water in Bhag and the issue was resolved temporarily, reported Geo News.
However, citizens were forced to drink contaminated water once again as the filtration plants set up there stopped functioning.
Earlier, the federal government initially installed 100 water-filtration plants in 2005 to provide clean water to the people of Balochistan. Seeing the success of this project, the federal government started another project called "Clean Drinking Water for All" in 2007.
Under the scheme, the government decided to install 409 filtration plants in the province for Rs 750 million. However, this project too fell victim to corruption and negligence.
Due to negligence and lack of maintenance, 20 out of 70 filtration plants in Quetta and around 200 filtration plants across the province had to be shut down, reported Geo News.
Meanwhile, medical experts said that in order to prevent growing hepatitis and stomach diseases in Balochistan, it is necessary to provide clean drinking water to the citizens. (ANI)