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May 16, 2019

Cases of gastro in Pindi almost doubles in Ramazan


May 16, 2019

Islamabad: Almost all public sector healthcare facilities along with private clinics and hospitals in this region of the country have been receiving significantly greater number of cases with gastroenteritis since the advent of Ramazan.

The number of cases of gastro have almost doubled in majority of hospitals in the region and soon after ‘iftar’, the healthcare facilities including Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences start receiving extraordinary burden of patients with the problem, said Consultant Intensive Care Medicine at PIMS Dr. Muhammad Haroon while talking to ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

He said most of the cases of gastro reaching healthcare facilities are of mild nature and do not require admission to the hospitals. Majority of these patients are elderly people and it is found that most of them have been with fast and do not take care of diet at the time of ‘iftar’, he said.

He said few patients with severe dehydration have also been reported at PIMS requiring admission to the hospital for treatment. Most of the patients being reported with gastro at the hospitals are with complaints of vomiting, fever, stomach pain, headache and nausea along with diarrhoea, said Dr. Haroon.

Diarrhoea and vomiting is called ‘stomach flu’, and these symptoms are often due to a condition called gastroenteritis with which the stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed.

Talking of the obvious reasons behind rise in number of cases of gastro, he said most of the patients being reported are found to had extraordinary intake of food and fluids including water at the time of ‘iftar’ after fasting for 15 and a half hour. People must be aware of the fact that gastro is dangerous particularly at extremes of ages, among elderly and children and in pregnant women, he said.

Medically, it is advised that pregnant women who contract persistent vomiting or loose motions in Ramazan should avoid fasting especially in the first and third trimesters, he said. The consistent increase in number of cases of gastro at the hospitals and clinics hints that a significant proportion of population is not following good dietary habits in Ramazan, said Dr. Haroon.

He said people who fast should consume moderate quantities of food and fluids at the time of ‘iftar’ and should avoid putting extraordinary burden on stomach. According to Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Wasim Ahmed Khawaja, the PIMS has been receiving significantly less number of patients at its outpatient department as compared to routine and it happens every year in Ramazan though the number of patients with gastro and dehydration is on the rise.

People suffering from complaints of severe vomiting and diarrhoea must consult qualified physician as the symptoms may lead to renal failure or life-threatening conditions, he said. Also it is important that people should follow good dietary habits and consume clean drinking water and safe food prepared in hygienic conditions to avoid gastro, he said.

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