Dengue on the rise

According to the health department, some 347 cases have been recorded so far this month

September 08, 2022

Dengue cases have seen a sudden rise in Karachi in recent weeks owing to thunderous monsoon rains and flash floods that have worsened civic conditions in major areas of the city. We know this from the fact that hospitals are reporting an overwhelming number of dengue patients as many are rapidly running out of space. According to the health department, some 347 cases have been recorded so far this month while August saw a total of 1,265 cases.

In order to cope with the dengue crisis, two main aspects must be considered: i) widescale awareness and accessibility of healthcare, and ii) a strong and vigilant healthcare system with adequate facilities. The dilapidated state of our country’s healthcare system leaves little to hope for. Expensive treatment forces lower-income families to resort to quacks or self-care, making matters even worse and many a time resulting in deaths. Experts have seen cases where patients have self-medicated by taking antibiotics, further lowering their platelet count and complicating the situation. Therefore, if any symptoms arise, those affected should seek proper medical attention. Likewise, the government must make sure that such attention is accessible and affordable to the masses. The world has witnessed the toll that health crises can take on underdeveloped countries. Therefore, the healthcare system must be strengthened and more medical professional be trained to handle cases of dengue. It is also incumbent upon the government to identify dengue larvae and breeding grounds that have emerged in areas inundated with water. Adequate measures need to be taken to systematically destroy them.

Till now, the government has shown laxity to handle the situation, which now requires prudent and timely measures. Hospitals in high affected areas must be alerted and given suitable provisions to cope with the increasing threat.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2022.

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