KATHMANDU, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Teaching and learning activities have been halted in a hilly district of western Nepal after several girls started falling unconscious daily.
It is already a couple of months since the problem started, at the Lokaraj Adarsha High School located at Karkidanda, Lamjung, some 110 km west of Kathmandu. Till Monday, more than three dozen girls from nursery to grade 10 have fallen unconscious, local newspaper The Rising Nepal reported on Monday.
The problem, however, has not affected the boys, according to the report.
Pratap Raj Silwal, a teacher of the school, said that when a student loses her consciousness, all others have to take care of her. "As teachers and students gather to help the patient, this creates disturbances in all the classrooms," he said.
He said that the students feel dizzy and then fall unconscious. "They also cry and shout and claim that they are affected by witchcraft. They even assault those who come to help them," he added.
According to him, they look normal after they are free from the problem.
Chandra Bahadur Basnet, headmaster of the school, said that even doctors have not found any problem while checking up such patients.
According to the suggestions of guardians, the school management has also conducted prayers and performed various religious activities in the school premises. Even the classrooms of Grade 9 and 10 were changed after the problem was seen among students.
Some of the students who have suffered from the health problem have undergone medical tests at hospitals.
"The doctor's report says I don't have any health-related problem, but I fell unconscious even after I returned from the hospital," said Anupama Bhandari, a student of the school.
Suk Bahadru Gurung, a local, said that his two daughters stopped going to school after they became ill.
Since last week, a witchdoctor has been staying in the school premises for the treatment of the sick students.
"As the doctors' efforts have become futile, I have come here to help the students," said Som Bhandari, the witchdoctor.
He does not charge any fee for his service, according to the report.