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Death toll reaches 61 as two more die of dengue

Dengue fever claimed two more lives in Peshawar, raising the toll from the victor borne disease to 61 as routine patients continued to suffer for want of beds at the medical teaching institutions of the provincial capital.

Haseena Bibi, 30, a resident of Achini village, and 50-year-old Liaquat Ali of Sufaid Dheri died of dengue fever at Hayatabad Medical Complex and Khyber Teaching Hospital during the past 24 hours, according to a news release of dengue response unit issued here on Monday.

It said that 420 patients, of the total 1,733 screened for the ailment, turned out to be positive for the disease. A total of 110 patients were hospitalised and 88 were sent home after recovery.

“We have allocated a full 48-bed ENT ward to dengue patients due to which the routine patients are suffering. The patients, who have been waiting for their operations for the past several months, have to wait for more time as we don’t have beds,” a senior surgeon at KTH told Dawn.

Routine patients continue to suffer for want of beds at hospitals

He said that there was no indication as to when the number of dengue patients would go down because there was constant flow of the affected people due to the hospital’s proximity with endemic areas like Tehkal, Sufaid Dheri, Pawaka, Danishabad and Achini etc.

Only KTH has screened 67,028 patients with 14,761 positive cases and 4,095 hospitalisations. The hospital received 1,035 patients during the past 24 hours. Of them, 262 were confirmed and 42 were admitted, bringing the total number of in-patients to 202. The HMC has 66, Lady Reading Hospital 19 and Nowshera Medical Complex 19 dengue patients.

The mosquitoes-borne disease is also affecting patients with routine diseases in other hospitals but those coming to KTH happen to be at the receiving end where a full 43-bed eye ward and 18 beds each at the skin and psychiatry wards have been allocated to dengue patients.

Little space has been left at the hospital for the patients requiring admission for skin and psychiatry diseases. Many patients, who require admission at the medical wards of the hospitals, have been sent home for want of beds because of occupation of beds by dengue patients.

The hospital has informed the authorities concerned about the bed occupancy issue time and again but to no avail.

The health department in collaboration with district government is busy to clean houses of dengue larvae besides carrying out spray and awareness drive but the presence of breeding sites insides houses is the main issue.

On Monday, teams deputed by government inspected 9,397 houses in the affected union councils and found larvae in 686 that were destroyed. Anti-mosquitoes spay was carried out in 35 affected areas.

Physicians at hospitals said that it was not the duty of health department to eliminate breeding sites of mosquitoes but it needed a coordinated approach as part of prevention.

The health department’s calls to elected councillors to persuade their electorate to eliminate larvae from their houses have fallen on deaf ears and indications are that the disease would recede when the temperature goes down 10 degree centigrade. Currently, the number of dengue patients is rising.

Yusafzai, Ashfaq. Death toll reaches 61 as two more die of dengue. Dawn, October 24, 2017.

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