FAFEN Report: Gastrointestinal infections increase by 60%

Gujrat was the most affected area during the second quarter of 2012.

Basma Siddiqui August 13, 2012

The second quarter of the current year March-May saw an alarming increase in the number of gastrointestinal diseases in Pakistan. The percentage of diarrhoea, dysentery and gastroenteritis cases went up by 60% per district making it a total of 690,431 cases registered in May.

The statics released in a report by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Sunday show that out of the total number of gastroenteritis cases registered over 84 districts, 614,862 were those of diarrhoea and dysentery alone, which was a 68% spike during the quarter. On the other hand a 16% increase was also observed in gastroenteritis cases.

After monitoring 2,903,480 cases the report stated that there was a 6% increase in every district during the monitored month making Gujrat the most affected area bearing 20% burden of the diseases.

Of the total cases observed, 41% were respiratory tract infections which were largely reported from Faisalabad and Gujranwala with Gujrat topping the list, whereas scabies (a skin disease) constituted 9% of the total with Faisalabad and Gujranwala reporting the most number of cases. There were 15,173 cases reported of animal bites in 68 districts out of which 96% were dog bites and the remaining 4% were snakebite cases.

Though there were no reported cases of dengue, around 7,068 cases were registered in 28 districts for malaria. Hepatitis made 90% of the total of 5,275 cases of viral diseases followed by measles which constituted 9% and the suspected Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which constituted 1%.

There was a 36% increase observed in 27 districts with as many as 3,213 cases registered for tuberculosis. Although there was a decrease in tetanus cases with only four cases registered over eight districts in comparison to the 22 cases registered in the previous month, there were 132 cases of meningitis recorded.

Meanwhile 120 mothers died due to pregnancy or delivery related complications in 29 districts. Infant mortality also reached a new peak with a 17% increase in 37 districts each. However, cases of child mortality saw a decline with the death of 250 children under the age of five over seven districts as compared to the death toll of 325 children over six districts in April. The most number of cases were reported form Toba Tek Singh.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.


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