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Infectious diseases kill 18 in Naga village

File photo of Naga people in traditional dress.

More than a dozen children have died of infectious diseases in a single village in northern Burma’s Naga Self-Administered Zone since the beginning of June, according to government reports.

The reports said that respiratory infections and diarrhea had claimed the lives of 18 people, including 13 children under the age of 12, in the village of Htan Khaw Lanma in Lahe Township over the past two months.

People in the village began falling ill in early June, with many complaining of sore eyes, coughing and diarrhea. The situation became worse a month later with the start of a period of heavy rain that destroyed crops and washed out local roads and bridges.

It wasn’t until 24 July that medical personnel from Lahe, the principal town in the area, were able to reach the village to provide assistance, according to a statement from the Lahe Township Health Department. After receiving treatment, 162 people fully recovered from their illnesses, the statement added.

The Naga Self-Administered Zone was created in 2010 in accordance with Burma’s 2008 constitution. It consists of three townships in a remote corner of northern Burma bordering India. Both sides of the border have a long history of insurgency.