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Hospitals treating hundreds with heat-related syndromes

DHAKA: The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) and other major health facilities in the capital have already admitted hundreds with heat-related syndromes as excessively hot weather gripped the country for the past two weeks.

Doctors said despite their preparedness to treat extra number of people with diarrhoeal diseases, dehydration or fever due to hot weather in March and April, the hospital admission this year went beyond all statistics due to protracted heat waves.

The number may cross all the previous record this year, doctors’ fear. Icddr,b and capital’s other hospitals are flooded with diarrhoea patients since the beginning of April.

“The icddr,b is receiving 800 patients daily on average mostly from the capital and the adjacent districts since April which is 25 per cent more than last year,” chief of hospital of the specialized facility Dr Azharul Islam Khan told BSS.

Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mitford Hospital, Dhaka Shishu Hospital and other private hospitals also are witnessing the unusual flow of diarrhoea patients.

Director General (DG) of Directorate General of Health Services Professor Abul Kalam Azad said, “According to our Health Emergency Operations Centre and Control Room the number of patients is increasing day by day….We are in fear that the number might exceed this year.”

The state-run facility for children, Dhaka Shishu Hospital in the city also reported high rate of admission in the past several weeks because of the mild heat wave exposing minor children to severe health risks in particular.

“Parents are taking their small children with problems like high fever, cough and diarrhoea as the hot weather making them sick,” Director of the facility Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain said.

Children in villages in particular were getting sick as they take prolonged dip in ponds and cannels and then start playing under burning sun while the quick change of temperature making them sick.

The parents and adults should be careful about this situation, experts said.

Talking to BSS eminent pediatric and National Professor Dr Hussain said children are very sensitive to this hot and humid weather as “they get dehydrated quickly and germs multiply in their bodies easily during heat waves”.

“Babies and children have relatively low body weight, as compared to adults that make them more vulnerable to the fluid loss or dehydration that occurs when more fluid is lost from the body compared to the volume they consume . . . this causes an imbalance of minerals in their bodies,” he added.

Professor Dr Hussain further said excessive weather like heat wave also generally expose people of different ages to viral infections causing a lot of irritation, running nose, fever, breathing problems with cough filling the breathing passage.

All these experts and doctors came up with a common suggestion asking people and particularly children to drink plenty of water, lemonade, green coconut water for keeping fluid balance in the body as metrological department warned that the current heat wave might continue for next several days despite slight fall of mercury.

According to a met office bulletin today mild to moderate heat wave is sweeping over Dhaka, Rajshahi & Khulna divisions and the regions of Noakhali and Dinajpur and it may continue and the highest 39.5 degree Celsius was recorded at Rajshahi yesterday.

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