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Nepal border dispute: Nepal asks India to remove obstruction

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Kathmandu: Nepal on Monday asked India to remove the ongoing obstruction at its border and resume the supply of fuel and essential commodities to the Himalayan nation.

A meeting chaired by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli passed a special resolution and asked New Delhi to end the obstruction of medicines and gasoline supply at the India-Nepal border.

“The government urges the Indian government to contribute toward maintaining a cordial relation with Nepal by resuming fuel and essential commodities (supply) to Nepal,” Prime Minister Oli’s media advisor Pramod Dahal told Xinhua news agency.

Thousands of Nepal-bound cargo vehicles and tankers carrying medicines, basic commodities and fuel have been clogged at the Indian side of the border.

Nepal said the Indian government had imposed an embargo against it since September 22, just two days after the promulgation of the new constitution in Nepal.

“India’s reservation on our new constitution is completely irrational as the constitution is purely an internal document of Nepal. We urge India to end the ongoing economic blockade and treat us as a friendly neighbour,” Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Chandra Prakash Mainali said.

Nepal had been fully dependent on gasoline imports from India for years.

However, India has denied any kind of embargo against Nepal and cited ongoing protests by Madhesi parties of Nepal behind such obstructions at the border.

(IANS)

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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)

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