Students of schools in Wangdue, Chukha and Thimphu are recovering from their chilblain afflictions following an improvement in the heating systems in affected schools and provision of medication.

Earlier in March, over 241 students from Phobjikha Central School in Wangdue, Wangbama Central School in Thimphu and Betekha Middle Secondary School were afflicted by chilblains. Most of the students started getting chilblain since March 17 when the schools first notice the infections.

But save of students suffering from chilblains in Phobjikha Central School, students from other schools like Wangbama Central School, Chapcha Middle Secondary, Pakshikha Central and Chukha Central schools in Chukha are recovering well. Even in Phobjkha Central School, 105 students suffering from chilblains have recovered while 33 are still recovering.

“Most of the affected students have recovered fully with only a few still suffering from open wounds but who are also getting regular treatment,” a teacher from Phobjikha Central School said.

The Central School however was still reporting new cases as of March 31. “There were new cases of four girls and six boys suffering from the infection on March 31 during the routine monitoring,” the teacher said.

Wangbama Central School principal, Dorji Wangchuk said that students in his school have recovered and the situation is now under control. The school earlier reported that 83 of its students were suffering from mild chilblains.

Though the school still had around 10-15 new chilblain cases, they are now recovering well. “But all the students are improving save of a few severe cases, which would also improve with medication,” Dorji Wangchuk said.

However the schools reported that the situation should improve with the weather getting warmer now. The schools are also taking precautionary measures.

In Wangbama Central School, the heating system has been improved with issuance of panel heaters and  water-boilers each for every class.

“The school has also suspended all the evening activities such as sports and co-curricular activities,” Dorji Wangchuk said.

The schools have also allowed children to wear jackets, gloves and mufflers. Some schools have done away with SUPW for students suffering from chilblains to prevent their conditions from deteriorating.

Chukha’s senior dzongkhag health officer Gopal Hingmang said that the situation has improved since the outbreak on March 21. “Now we have contained the outbreak and the situation is improving,” Gopal Hingmang said.

In Chukha, 190 students from the Pakshikha and Chukha Central Schools and Chapcha Middle Secondary School were affected by chilblains. “But it’s been over five days since we did not receive any reports of a new case,” Gopal Hingmang said.

Tempa Wangdi