Dengue victims are overflowing city hospitals

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 10/18/2022 4:29:56 AM

As the number of infections and fatalities from dengue has been steadily rising, the hospitals in the nation's capital and some other locations have been overrun with patients.

In order to combat the deteriorating dengue crisis, the government has decided to implement a crash program against the Aedes mosquito in its hotspots.

On Monday, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) conducted an urgent meeting at its Mohakhali headquarters in the capital.

DGHS high officials, including Director General Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, were present at the meeting. Civil surgeons of different districts and superintendents and chiefs of public hospitals joined the meeting virtually.

Dr Md Anwar Hossain Howlader, secretary of the Health Services Division at the health and family welfare ministry, said the number of dengue patients has been increasing gradually and no bed left vacant for dengue patients in public hospitals of the capital.

“Although there is no bed vacant in public hospitals, patients are coming and we can’t send them back. We’re giving them treatment on hospital floors,” he said.

The health secretary said a decision has been taken to launch separate dengue units in public hospitals while necessary treatment materials and adequate fluid supply will be ensured for the treatment.

In the meeting, Anwar Hossain also emphasised the need for carrying out special awareness prgoramme against dengue and conduct anti-mosquito drives.

The health authorities said they have also taken a decision to make the dengue treatment free from patients up to Tk 1 lakh except some small amount of fees.

The hospital sources said Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital and other specialised hospitals have been flooded with dengue patients.

“Currently, 111 dengue patients are undergoing treatment in our hospital and we are admitting all the dengue patients as there is no separate dengue ward  here yet,” Dr Khalilur Rahman, director of the Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, told the Daily Sun.

According to the DGHS, a total of 26,038 dengue patients have been admitted to hospitals and 96 have died till October 17 this year. However, the dengue situation has alarmingly deteriorated from August to October as near 10,000 dengue patients were hospitalised and at least 41 died in 17 days of October.

Earlier, 9,911 patients were reported and 34 died in September and 3,521 patients hospitalised and 11 patients died in August. 

Mentioning that the dengue situation is worrying this year, Dr Ekramul Haque, Programme Manager (malaria & Aedes transmitted disease) of DGHS said they have identified some hotspots in the capital and outside and shared it to local government units to conduct special anti-mosquito drive.

The DGHS data said 28,429 dengue patients were hospitalised and 105 died in 2021.

Hospital sources said children are highly affected by dengue this year as a number of children have died of dengue this monsoon in the capital. Of them, at least seven children died in Dhaka Shishu Hospital.

The DGHS has found at least 20 hotspots in Dhaka north and south city corporation areas as maximum dengue patients were admitted to hospitals from the areas.

On the other hand, after the capital, the second highest number of dengue patients and fatality from the disease has been found in Cox’s Bazaar district.

“The number of dengue patients in Rohingya camps has decreased while a number of dengue patients have been found in host community. We’re conducting a special anti-mosquito drive to control the situation,” Dr Md Mahbubur Rahman, civil surgeon of  Cox's Bazar, told the Daily Sun.

DGHS data shows that 857 new dengue patients have been hospitalised and two more patients have died in the past 24 hours till Monday morning. Of them, 523 were admitted to 51 hospitals in Dhaka.

As per the report, 3004 dengue patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals across the country currently. Of them, 2015 are in 51 hospitals in Dhaka city.

The WHO said the primary vectors that transmit the disease are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and, to a lesser extent, Aedes albopictus. Dengue usually grows in clear and stagnant water. Even a small quantity of water, as little as 40 ml, can grow mosquitoes leading to such deadly diseases.

However, the health ministry and the LGRD ministry have taken various initiatives, including anti-mosquito drives, to control the vectors, sources said.

Dhaka south and Dhaka north city corporation sources said they will start conducting a weeklong crash programme to destroy the Ades mosquito breeding grounds in the hotspots of the capital.

“We have started a crash prgoramme against Aedes in six areas, including Mugda, Kamrangirchar, Khilgaon, Bashabo and Dhanmondi, on Sunday that will continue for five days,” Dr Fazle Shamsul Kabir, chief health officer (additional responsibilities) of the DSCC, told the Daily Sun.

He said only 10 per cent are from the Dhaka south city area while a number of dengue patients are coming from adjacent areas of the capital.

Brigadier General Md Zobaidur Rahman, chief health officer of the Dhaka north city corporation (DNCC), said they also will conduct a crash anti-mosquito drive in the entire city area from October 18 to 25.

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