Seven dead from dysentery in S. Sumatra outbreak
Seven people have died and 203 people have been infected in a dysentery outbreak in four villages in South Sumatra, according to health officials.
The outbreak began last week in the villages of Santapan Timur, Santapan Barat, Kandis and Rantau Bayur, South Sumatra Health Agency chief Mat Dani Nurtjik said on Sunday.
Nurtjik attributed the outbreak to residents using water from the polluted Ogan and Musi Rivers.
“People still have the habit of using the rivers for bathing, washing and a toilet, which eventually makes the rivers polluted,” Nurtjik said.
Officials from the health agency say that it will take a week to process samples taken from the rivers after the outbreak. Residents have been warned to stop using river water in the interim.
According to Ahmad Najib, an assistant in the public welfare division of the South Sumatra administration, the government would eventually provide decent public lavatories for the affected communities.
“We are now observing which areas that still use the rivers as their main water source and use them for toilets, washing and bathing,” he said. “We will build more public toilets for people living on the riverbanks.” (han/lfr)