GUWAHATI, Sept 17 - After the fast-spreading skin disease in South West Garo Hills (SWGH) district of Meghalaya that made headlines a couple of days back, more than 40 patients afflicted by the skin condition were brought for treatment to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) today.
Upon medical examination, most of the cases were found to be of scabies and tinea.
The Voluntary Association for Social Upliftment (VASU), which has brought the matter to light and is also arranging for the treatment of the patients in Guwahati, today said after medical examination, it has been found that out of 41 patients, two have psoriasis and rest of the patients mainly have scabies and tinea.
“Most of the cases are of highly contagious skin infections, which aggravate if treatment is not done on time,” GMCH Superintendent Ramen Talukdar said.
The patients, mostly with big red patches of moderate to severe skin rashes all over their bodies, explained that the disease has spread very fast in their areas at Mahendraganj and Ampati, and the number of patients affected by this skin condition would be several thousand.
The matter came to light after VASU CEO Shabnam Mohan Raj noticed two girls affected by the disease in an apparel production unit at Mahendraganj in SWGH district.
“Upon enquiry, I came to know that every other individual in the villages from where the two girls hail had the disease. After visiting the place, I came to know about the severity of the situation,” Mohan Raj told The Assam Tribune.
At GMCH, 16-year-old Seema Hajong told this correspondent that four members of her family have been affected by the disease. “Nearly one and a half year back, we started noticing the red spots that eventually spread on the entire body. The locally available medicines don’t work on the patients suffering from the condition,” she said.
Several other patients, mostly daily wage earners, housewives and students, explained that no proper treatment is available in the area to treat the disease.
However, an apathetic attitude of those at the helm of affairs came to light in the entire episode.
“On the contrary, we received threat calls from certain quarters who warned us against spreading the rumours about the skin disease,” claimed Shabnam Mohan Raj.
“We intended to organise health camps at Mahendraganj with dermatologists and treat the people. But after getting the threats, we are scared to hold such camps,” she added.
Of the patients treated at the GMCH today, the psoriasis patients will have to be on regular medication, whereas the other medical conditions are contagious but curable. The students of USTM, Meghalaya, who volunteered to assist the patients for their treatment, gave an awareness lesson to the patients on hygiene.