Health hazards lurking in the waters


Sehrish Wasif July 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The number of gastroenteritis patients in the capital surged after the recent monsoon rain spell, said Dr Sharif Astori, spokesperson Polyclinic. He said that about 38 patients of gastroenteritis had visited the hospital over the past 24 hours.

“The majority of patients are children and acquire the disease by playing in the rain water or swimming in nullahs,” he explained.

Astori said that people who eat from street vendors are always more likely to get water- borne diseases.

He said that the rain water causes skin rashes, allergies, diarrhoea, flu and hepatitis.

“During the monsoon season, these diseases are mostly common among the people living in the slum areas and kutchi abadis as they do not employ many precautionary measures,” he said.

He said that rain water mixed with sewerage becomes stagnant in pools and is a breeding ground for these diseases and their carriers.

Astori added that Polyclinic had made special arrangements for the monsoon season.

Talking to the Express Tribune, Dr Waseem Khawaja, senior Physician, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences said that on average, 25-30 patients of gastroenteritis were visiting the hospital everyday. Dr Khawaja said that during the rainy season, people should take certain precautionary measures.

“People should drink water after boiling it properly, wash hands before eating or handling food, avoid eating unhygienic and substandard food from outside, avoid  taking bath immediately after getting wet in the rain and avoid frequent temperature changed,” Dr Khwaja said.

Causality Medical Officer of Pims Dr Saima Mir said that ever since the rains, 10-12 patients of gastroenteritis were coming into the
emergency ward every six to eight hours.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2010.

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