Heat takes toll on Multan


Express May 25, 2010

MULTAN: A student in Burewala died of heat stroke in class on Monday. Several students of the government girl’s high school 505 IB fainted due to the scorching heat and lack of cooling in school.

The 11 girls who fainted did not have access to water or fans. Humaira Akram, a 15-yearold student was brought to the local tehsil head quarters (THQ) hospital after she had remained unconscious for over four hours. The THQ hospital referred the case to Nishtar hospital, where doctors pronounced that Humaira had succumbed to severe dehydration and heat stroke.

Humaira’s parents remained oblivious to the incident and were expecting her to return home, until the hospital authorities brought her body back to her parents. Humaira’s parents Akram Shahid and his wife have demanded that the provincial government immediately announce summer holidays in the schools. “Our children are being cramped up in classrooms in boiling temperatures, without fans or water,” Akram said, adding that no one even knew his daughter had died until she was taken to the hospital.

“The heat is unbearable and school authorities need to announce summer holidays as soon as possible because we have seen several cases of children fainting and suffering heat stroke. In this case, the victim died. The government needs to take action,” said Dr Qayyum, a resident at Nishtar hospital. While it is only May, Multan’s temperatures are at their peak. With the temperatures ranging in and around the high 40 degrees celsius. Locals have said that the frequent power outages have made the situation unbearable as the heat is overwhelming. “There have been several cases where cars and buses on the road have burst a tire, because the roads are sizzling,” said Munawwar Akram, Humaira’s brother.

“It is little wonder that students being cramped in classrooms are suffering. My sister’s death is a warning that if the government doesn’t take action and provide better facilities in our school such incidents will only increase in the coming months,” he said. According to hospital officials, Nishtar hospital has received over 32 cases of heat stroke and dehydration during the past two weeks.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 26th, 2010.

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