MOHMAND AGENCY - Dozens of children were reported seriously affected by Leishmania disease here in the remote areas of Tehsil Safi, Tehsil Prang Ghar and Halimzai Tehsil.

In the Qandharo area of Safi tehsil, one-year-old Fatima and two-year-old Ali and dozens of other children and women were stated to be in a serious condition as the epidemic attained alarming proportion, local resident of the area Nisar Ahmad said. He also Said that dozens of children and women have been affected due to the Leishmania in Lakaro and others remote areas of the tehsil Safi. Officials at the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Ghalanai said that they have diagnosed over 66 patients with Leishmania disease. The health official said that the disease is caused by the bite of sand flies, which have invaded most parts of Fata.

“Though we have registered and diagnosed 66 of Leishmaniasis cases in Agency Headquarters Hospital Ghalanai in the past few months, the disease is rampant in most parts of Fata, as tribesmen are not fully aware of the gravity of this disease and the treatment provided by the Directorate of Health Fata,”  former Agency Surgeon Dr Umar Zada said.

A Lab Assistance in the AHQ Hospital said it was unfortunate that most of such cases were lying hidden inside the houses in most parts of the tribal agency due to lack of awareness. He said that the disease could easily be communicated to members of a family when a sand fly bites one person in a house.

A staffer in the Agency Headquarters Ghalanai said that Leishmania vaccines are not available at present for the last four months due to which most of the patients were referred to Peshawar and others parts of the country.