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Islamabad

July 11, 2018

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20% child patients reaching allied hospitals with complaints of diarrhoea

Rawalpindi: The incidence of diarrhoea that can be termed as one of the most deadly infections among children particularly under the age of five years in Pakistan is on the rise in this region of the country however, according to paediatricians, the situation has not taken shape of an epidemic as yet.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Saturday has revealed that the paediatrics departments in allied hospitals in town are receiving 10 per cent more child patients with diarrhoea as compared to number of patients in May this year.

Diarrhoea is usually a symptom of a bowel infection (gastroenteritis) that can be caused by a virus, bacteria or parasite though the main source of infection generally is consumption of contaminated water.

Nearly 20 per cent of all child patients reaching the three teaching hospitals in town are with complaints of diarrhoea and the number of child patients with diarrhoea is on the rise, said Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at Rawalpindi Medical University and Incharge Paediatrics Department at Holy Family Hospital Dr. Tariq Saeed while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday.

The allied hospitals recorded a 10 per cent increase in number of child patients with diarrhoea as compared to number of patients two months back however the situation is well under control so far, he said.

On average, the three teaching hospitals are receiving well over 100 child patients with mild to moderate and severe complaints of diarrhoea at their outpatients departments daily.

It is important that the two teaching hospitals including Holy Family Hospital and Benazir Bhutto Hospital operate complete paediatrics departments while District Headquarters Hospital provides outpatient department services to children only.

Talking of bed occupancy rate at the paeds departments in BBH and HFH, Professor Tariq said the two hospitals have a capacity of 260 beds in all while at present, nearly 400 child patients are undergoing treatment in wards.

He said with the rise in temperature and humidity in coming days, the allied hospitals may receive greater number of child patients with diarrhoea if parents do not take precautionary measures well in time.

It is time to create awareness among public about various aspects of diarrhoea and particularly on importance of use of boiled water for drinking purpose to avoid gastroenteritis, he said.

Mothers must use boiled water while preparing milk for infants and should wash hands with soup before preparing milk while drinking water must be brought to ‘rolling boil’ for 5-10 minutes before use otherwise it might not be safe for a child to consume, he said.

He added hands of children eating solid food must be washed before and after every meal and after going to toilet.

It is important that diarrhoea is mainly caused by the use of untreated water and unhygienic food and general public must be aware of the fact that water-borne illnesses account for nearly 60 per cent of child deaths in Pakistan with approximate 630 children dying daily from diarrhoea.

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