A sudden — and sharp — fall in the platelet count has led Nawaz Sharif to hospital from the prison — yet again. The former prime minister was hospitalised late on Monday night after his personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, had raised alarm about his deteriorating health while visiting him in the Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore. At the Services Hospital, where he was taken to, Sharif was tested negative for dengue — a type of fever that mainly results in low blood platelets which risks internal bleeding and serious consequences, therefore.
The Punjab government’s health authorities described Sharif’s condition as improving midday yesterday, and said that a team of doctors had been deputed to provide him round-the-clock medical care. However, senior PML-N leaders, while speaking at a press conference in Islamabad post-noon yesterday, said that Sharif’s health condition was “serious”. Reports in the media — with some claiming the PML-N chief’s platelet count to have dropped to a mere 2,000 while a healthy person has the number lying between 450,000 and 150,000 — added to the concerns of the Sharif family as well as party workers and supporters.
That Sharif needs proper medical attention should not be doubted. The three-time prime minister is well known to have heart complications, having undergone heart surgeries in 2011 and 2016. Besides, his incarceration as well as his growing age — he will be exactly 70 on the coming December 25 — make him even more vulnerable to falling sick. The health of the incarcerated former prime minister is, therefore, a sensitive issue and deserves to be handled with all the care and caution. While the authorities are doing all what should be done in such circumstances, they must make sure there is no complacency on the part of anybody associated with the provision of medical care to the veteran politician.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2019.