Waterborne diseases are spreading in the flooded areas of Barisal following the cyclone Mahasen hitting the coast last week.
According to a report issued by the control room of health services yesterday, 16 people, including three children, died and 48 others were injured in Chittagong and Barisal divisions during Mahasen. Of them, 26 people were injured in Bhola and 16 in Barguna.
Meanwhile, a disease survey is being carried out in the worst hit districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali and Pirojpur.
Medical teams are collecting information from the affected people on diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, pneumonia, hepatitis A and hepatitis E, respiratory and eye problems and snakebite complications.
Many upazilas and villages of the four districts were flooded by the cyclone, and diseases, mostly waterborne ones, are spreading as floodwaters recede, a health official said.
Dr Khandaker Md Shafayet Ullah, director general of Health Services, told the Dhaka Tribune that past experiences show waterborne diseases turn epidemic after floods or other natural calamities.
He said the disease survey, which began on Sunday, would ensure health care, and there were enough reserves of medicines and equipment in the affected areas to contain the situation.
High officials of health services will visit the affected districts to inspect post-disaster activities. Four, eight member surveillance teams have already been formed under the supervision of Additional Director General (Administration) Subas Kumar Saha.