During the Eid holidays, emergency wards in the capital’s public hospitals received a huge influx of patients suffering from gastroenteritis and seasonal allergies.
From October 16 to 18, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences’ (Pims) emergency ward received over 1,100 patients and the Polyclinic Hospital around 500 per day.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pims Spokesperson Dr Ayesha Eshani said during the Eid holidays, outpatient departments (OPD) were closed, due to which all the patients were treated at the main emergency ward.
She said on the second day of Eid, over 1,200 people were treated in the emergency ward. “Majority of the patients were suffering from seasonal flu, allergy, asthma and gastroenteritis,” she said, adding that several road accident cases were also reported.
Eshani said due to the changing weather, a large number of Islamabad’s residents were suffering from seasonal flu and allergies.
On the other hand, during the three days of festivities, the hospital received 12 positive cases of dengue, with the majority being residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
At polyclinic, the emergency ward in-charge, Dr Tanveer Afsar Malik, said people suffering from various stomach-related illnesses such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea started coming to the emergency ward from the first day of Eid.
“At night on the first day of Eid, the emergency ward was jam-packed with patients,” he said, adding that the reason behind this was overeating and consuming spicy food at odd hours.
“On Eidul Azha, people usually consume a lot of meat, even for breakfast, which obviously becomes difficult to digest,” he said, adding that having BBQ for three consecutive days is not good for the stomach.
Malik said that even though meat is a good source of protein, it should not be consumed in large quantities. Beef contains harmful fats and is very high in cholesterol, which is dangerous for heart patients.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a gastroenteritis specialist at Pims who wished not to be named said the poor who otherwise cannot afford to eat meat throughout the year consume it during Eidul Azha in large quantities and thus it adversely affects their digestive system.
Malik said people do not even consider cooking anything but meat during the Eid holidays and some consider eating vegetarian options during these days as a “sin”.
“This is an unhealthy practice, people should also include vegetables in their menu on Eidul Azha” he said.
He further suggested that people drink a lot of water, exercise and avoid eating fatty foods before going to bed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2013.