Chechnya’s devastation increases illnesses in children
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus – The children in Chechnya are susceptible mostly to cold-related diseases, i.e. flu and acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI), said Usman Bakayev, the chief epidemiologist of the Chechen Health Ministry.
Bakayev claims that the ailments are predominantly caused by the lack of basic conditions ensuring enough heat in residential buildings and facilities. “The post-war devastation and ruined buildings with no heating do not allow the maintaining of constant temperature in rooms, which leads to illnesses,” he believes.
Flu and ARVIs account for more than 65 per cent of all infections in people in Chechnya, followed by stomach and intestinal infections, says Chechnya’s chief epidemiologist.
The whole year 2002, however, was marked by a slight decrease in the incidence of infectious diseases, mainly thanks to the improvement of the sanitary and hygienic conditions and vaccination of the population, says Bakayev.
According to the figures of the Chechen epidemiological office, more than 45,000 people suffer from cold-related illnesses, almost 2,000 people have intestinal infections, and 61 people are reported to be HIV-positive.