8:13 AM

IDPs hit by chicken pox and diarrhoea

Nearly 8,000 IDPs now housed in temporary camps have come down with chicken pox, Minister of Healthcare Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

Minister Silva told The News-Lanka that many were suffering from the disease before they escaped from the No Fire Zone and more IDPs are suffering from diarrhoea at the same time. "Diseases such as chicken pox spread faster when you have a large number of people living together in close quarters. Therefore, the doctors are using the acyclovir vaccine to control the spread of the disease," Silva said.

The Minister also said that Director of the Angoda Mental Hospital, Dr. Jayan Mendis and 50 more Mental Health Specialists have already been sent to treat the IDPs since they are suffering from mental depression, agony and pain.

"We are taking all measures to upgrade patient care and hospitals where IDPs are receiving medical care as their health had been neglected for years due to the on going war. The Ministry of Healthcare has taken all steps to strengthen the facilities since we want to give them the best care and facilities available in the country. They are part of us," Silva said.

The Minister said that the IDPs were found to be already weak and in urgent need of nutritious food when they arrived in the cleared areas. A majority of the civilians entering the safe areas were already suffering from injuries or various illnesses such as chicken pox, viral flu, respiratory, lung and skin infections, and diarrhoea.