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Airing of Indian TV channels resumes in Nepal

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Kathmandu: At a time when India welcomed the move initiated by the three political majors in Nepal to hold talks with Madhesi and Tharu parties, the Nepal government on Tuesday show caused the cable operators for blacking out Indian channels. The Nepal government has directed the operators to continue airing Indian TV channels.  The Madhesi and Tharu parties are protesting against the country’s new constitution.

“We welcome the recent steps that have been taken to begin a dialogue, because that is the only way (to find a solution),” Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told at a program held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

India has maintained that that protests against demarcation of states in the statute by Madhesis and Tharus in Nepal’s southern plains bordering India is a political crisis that can be sorted out through talks.

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The month-long protest in Nepal claimed forty four lives. The protest affected supply of goods to the neighbouring country with Indian transporters expressing reluctance to ply amidst intensified demonstration on highways and custom points in the Indo-Nepal border. Irked with the situation, cable operators blacked out India channels as a mark of protest. India has clamped an ‘economic blockade’, they alleged. However, a minor Maoist faction in the Himalayan nation had threatened to ban Indian films, TV channels and Indian vehicles in Nepal because of India’s ‘unofficial embargo’ on entry of goods.

(With inputs from HT)

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Fear of Leprosy Resurgence in Nepal

There are only three staff working in the leprosy section and the same team looks after the disability programme, as well, he told the newspaper

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Leprosy, Wikimedia

Health officials in Nepal fear leprosy resurgence in the country with prevalence rate reaching 0.94 per cent in 2018.

Leprosy-free status was given to the Himalayan nation after it declared elimination of the disease in 2009. However, that status could be lost if prevalence rate reaches one per cent of total population, Kathmandu Post reported on Thursday.

Experts already fear that this marks the resurgence of the disease in Nepal. The percentage could be more, an official said, as the current given figures have been derived just from preliminary data.

The Leprosy Control and Disability (LCD) section of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of Department of Health Services said that the prevalence rate was 0.92 and 0.89 in 2017 and 2016, respectively, the news report said.

“It will be a great setback for the country if it loses the status,” said Rabindra Baskota, a doctor and chief of the LCD section.

Incubation period of leprosy varies from one to 20 years and diagnosis of more patients could help stop the further spread of the disease, according to him.

An amputated leg, claw toes and claw hands of leprosy patient Gopal Bag are seen at the Leprosy Mission Trust India hospital. Kolkata. VOA

“It will take only a couple of years to reach one percent if this upward trend continues,” he added.

The prevalence rate is over one per cent in various districts of the Tarai region, Baskota said, adding that the country had received the leprosy eliminated status, after reducing its prevalence rate by 0.77 per cent, in 2009.

Sishir Silwal, a focal person for the leprosy control programme in Gulmi district, said regular review meetings for leprosy, which should be held every four months, has not been held for the last eight months.

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Kathmandu Post quoted Bibek Kumar Lal, Director at EDCD, as saying that there is a severe crunch in manpower that hinders proper functioning.

There are only three staff working in the leprosy section and the same team looks after the disability programme, as well, he told the newspaper.

Leprosy, a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, is transmitted through nasal secretion or from droplets from the mouth. It affects the skin, peripheral nerves and eyes, leading to disfigurement and nerve damage. The disease is curable with a multi-drug therapy. (IANS)