Tue, 25 Feb 2003

Diarrhea kills 18 in E. Nusa Tenggara

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: Diarrhea outbreaks in two regencies in West Nusa Tenggara have claimed at least 18 lives over the past month.

Another 110 people are being treated for the condition.

South Timor Tengah Regent Wellen Nope told The Jakarta Post on Monday that he had visited the villages of Loab and Fatukopa, where 11 people had died of the disease.

Previously, seven people died in Kupang regency.

The head of a local community health center, Jan Djehari, blamed the diarrhea outbreak on the low awareness of local people about basic healthy precautions, such as boiling water before drinking it.

He added that animals and people relieved themselves in the rivers.

Meanwhile, head of Kupang health agency Herman Man stressed that the incidence of death was high as patients did not seek immediate medical treatment. -- JP