SANGHAR: In what appears to be first reported case during ongoing season, one infant died on Saturday of measles in Sanghar’s drought-hit Achro Thar desert – an area where the number of malnourised children has risen to 20 percent. There is possibility of measles outbreak in the area as several children have been affected from the infection, Daily Times learnt from local sources. As per details, the deceased 18-months old Saahar, son of Nagar Rajar was resident of Thurahoo village in Union Council Kamil Hingoro. Based on the symptoms, family members of the deceased claimed that child died of measles, while they also complained about lack of health officials visiting the area. No official confirmation could be obtained from local authority because of unavailability of healthcare service in the area. Sanghar District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Shagufta Abid was not available for the comment despite repeated attempts. Achro Thar Desert, which is spread over 4,805 square kilometers, has one dispensary – the sole healthcare unit in the area run by medical officer Dr Hathi Singh. The dispensary is located in deep desert at Saeedao village. Meanwhile, the number of malnourished children has increased to an alarming stage. As per report submitted to provincial health department by the Dr Singh, number of malnourished children has increased to 20 percent in the area in month of July only. “There is increase of malnutrition tests in the area. This is connected to drought followed by shortage of food,” he stated. According to Dr Singh, there can be an outbreak of measles in the area due to soaring malnutrition rates. Achro Thar Desert is currently facing drought and the situation has led to a mass migration to barrage areas. In the absence of monsoon rains, fresh drought has led to deaths of livestock and shortage of fodder in the area – the main source of livelihood and food for the area people.