TIMERGARA - Another patient died of a mysterious disease in Barimki Mula Patay in Tehsil Adenzi in Lower Dir on Sunday, taking the toll to seven.

 An official of the Lower Dir health department told The Nation on condition of anonymity that in 2015 after the outbreak of the same disease, the Lower Dir health department had requested the provincial health department to send special teams into the area to help identify causes of the disease but no action was taken. 

Local sources said Raziqa Bibi, 9, daughter of Sher Azim and resident of Mula Patay Barimki lost the battle for life at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Usman, 13, son of Bakhtawar and resident of Barimki Kharkanai died of the same mysterious disease here the other day. A week ago, Ram Qawi wife of Noor Khan, Naila Bibi daughter of Habib Rahim, Maleeha Bibi daughter of Nasib Gul, Wasif Khan son of Rahmani Gul and Gulai Bibi wife of Gul Haider died of the disease.

After media reports, Deputy Commissioner Lower Dir Sarmad Saleem Akram, District Health Officer Dr Shaukat Ali and member provincial assembly Humayun Khan visited the area and condoled with the bereaved families.

On the occasion, the medical team checked 310 patients, collected their blood samples and distributed medicines.

While briefing media persons on the occasion, DHO Dr Shaukat Ali said Malaria had been diagnosed in 4 out of the total seven deceased, whereas, 3 patients died on the way to hospital before provision of proper treatment.

“Treatment record of those who died of the disease available with the health department does not show presence of any common virus among the patients on the basis of which outbreak of an epidemic could not be confirmed," Dr Shaukat Ali said.

A medical team headed by medical officer Sardar Ali had been constituted besides a special ward for patients of the mysterious disease had been established at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital Chakdara and free of cost ambulance services were being provided to patients in case they are referred to hospitals in Peshawar, he added.

On demand of locals, Deputy Commissioner Sarmad Saleem Akram directed health department to establish civil dispensary in the locality on an emergency basis and appoint a medical officer there and ensure 24 hour health services along with all medical facilities.

MPA Humayun Khan said he would contact the provincial government to provide financial assistance to the affected families.