KARACHI: A resident of Thatta died in a private hospital on Friday in what is believed to be the fourth death caused by the deadly brain-eating amoeba, naegleria fowleri, in 2015.
Forty-year-old Sarfaraz Nawaz Pathan, an employee of the education department, was brought to the hospital in a serious condition a few days ago. According to health department officials, he was comatose when he was admitted and never recovered.
This is the first case of naegleria from outside Karachi this year, with three cases having already been reported from the provincial capital. The district health officials have yet to ascertain the history of the patient. "It is an alarming situation that cases are being reported from other areas as well," stated Dr Zafar Ejaz, the Karachi health services director, adding that it was a matter of chlorination. "The disease is 100 per cent preventable if chlorinated water is used."
The Sindh health department recently constituted a six-member committee to ensure proper chlorination of water in Karachi. The deputy chief engineer of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Azam Khan, is the convenor of the committee, which also includes food quality control department DDO Irfan Khan, the health department's Dr Zafar Mehdi, public health engineering's assistant executive engineer Syed Nazir Haider, Karachi District Council executive engineer Liaquat Ali Mughal and a member of the Karachi Municipal Corporation's health department.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2015.
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