Most dengue patients do not need to be hospitalised but to rest at home and keep hydrated, which should see them recover in eight to 10 days, medical experts said in a seminar at the Institute of Public Health (IPH) on Monday.
Only two to three per cent of dengue patients get so sick that they need an infusion of platelets, and they only need to be hospitalised if their platelet count falls below 20,000, said IPH Dean Professor Muhammad Yaqoob Qazi.
He said that unscrupulous businesses were spreading unfounded fear that there was a shortage of platelet kits. He proposed that health education be made a compulsory subject in schools.
Prof Qazi said that population growth and haphazard development had created various health and sanitation problems and these were growing. He said that in some urban areas, there were ten people living in a single room. “Population planning is the need of the hour,” he said.
He also suggested that the government divert funds from treatment facilities to prevention programmes as this was a more effective way of improving public health. “Every second person is suffering from blood pressure and diabetes. Instead of the expansion of treatment facilities, we will have to focus on prevention or all the budget will be spent on establishing more factories for insulin and blood pressure tablets,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.