Dengue patients cram Dhaka hospitals

Special Correspondent
The number of dengue patients, including children, is exceeding the number of seats at the city’s government hospitals, which is going to be a difficult situation to manage, sources at different hospitals said yesterday. With the number of dengue patients rising rapidly, the hospitals are failing to meet the shortage of necessary colloids saline, of reagents to test blood and of other facilities needed for dengue treatment. As a result, many of the hospitalised patients are buying medicines and doing other blood tests at a huge cost at outside clinics and pharmacies. Preferring anonymity, many of the hospital sources said they are not getting the requisite support of medicines, saline and reagents from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
On visiting different hospitals, including Shaheed Shuhrawardy Medical Collage Hospital (ShSMC), Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College yesterday, these correspondents found that the dengue patients were seen lying on the hospital corridors, where they were being treated.
Sources at the hospitals said as the number of patients is high compared to the seat capacity, the patients have no option but to lie on the corridor. But there is no negligence in providing proper treatment to these patients, they claimed.
As per DGHS control room data, a total of 473 dengue patients were admitted to different government and private hospitals in 24 hours ending at 3pm yesterday. This indicates how critical the situation has become.
As of now, the number of deaths caused by dengue stands at five as per government data and at least 7,766 dengue patients were admitted to different hospitals in the capital till July 23. However, media reports put the death figure at least 26.
From January 1 to July 22, a total of 5,938 patients were released after treatment from different hospitals in the capital. Currently, 1,823 patients are undergoing treatment at these medical facilities.
In ShSMC, sources said as per the statistics
of the dengue cases of the hospital, a total of 528 patients were admitted till yesterday (Tuesday) over the last two months. Of these patients, 416 patients were discharged, but two of them died on 12 and 15 July.
At present, a total of 112 patients are admitted to seven wards of the hospital.
According to the hospital statistics, at least 35 patients are admitted to Ward-1, Ward-4 has 27 patients, Ward-7 has 21 while Ward-11 (the children’s ward) has 23 patients. Even the casualty ward has four patients.
Analysing the data of the hospital, at least 35 patients were admitted on July 16, 26 on July 17, 17 on July 18, 21 on July 19, 36 on July 20, 33 on July 21 and 43 on July 22.
Hospital sources said the number of dengue patients in 2018 was 537 including, one death. But this year the prevalence of dengue is extremely high in the last two months.
As the patients in the hospital are increasing every day, it has become difficult to ensure seats for all, hospital authorities said.
Nasir Dewan, who is currently admitted to Ward-7 of Shuhrawardy Hospital, got high fever on July 15 in his hometown in Faridpur. He was admitted to Faridpur Government Hospital but when his condition did not improve over the next three days he was admitted to Shurawardy Hospital on July 19. Now he is recovering.
Fifty-year-old Mizan from Faridpur is lying on the hospital corridor for five days for treatment. He said, “I did not get any bed. So I am lying on the floor.”
Al Amin at Ward-7 has been in the hospital for seven days. “When I test my blood outside, I was dengue positive. So I got admitted here. So far I have spent Tk. 15,000 on treatment.”
In Dhaka Shishu Hospital, as of now, at least 227 patients were admitted. Of them two have died. Currently, about 65 patients are undergoing treatment.
“As poor people cannot get treatment at the private hospitals, they have to depend on government hospitals. It is tough to get a seat in a government hospital during such a crisis as there are limited seats,” said Nazmul Hossain Jewel, a resident of Azimpur area, who came to the Dhaka Shishu Hospital with his son.
In Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College, a total of 585 dengue patients were admitted till yesterday this year. Of them, at least 425 patients were released after receiving treatment. And currently about 160 dengue patients are undergoing treatment.
A private banker named Noman Uddin came to hospital from Shahjanpur area, with his two-year-old son who is affected by dengue. He said he went to four different hospitals in the capital to admit his son, but in vain.
“Finally, I admitted my son at this hospital. However, the condition of the Holy Family Hospital is not any better as everyday the number of patients is increasing,” he said. He, however, blamed the city authorities for the situation, saying that the city authorities have to take the responsibility.
Dr Billah of Shaheed Shuhrawardy Medical Collage Hospital told The Independent that the number of patients is extremely high this year.
“Last year we noticed that dengue patients came to us with high fever and physical pain, but this year many of the patients were admitted to the hospital with diarrhoea and stomach pain, which is a new symptom for this fever,” he added.
He further said we are advising the patients to take more liquid foods, including water, so that the risk of internal haemorrhage can be reduced.
Prof. Dr Syed Shafi Ahmed, director of Dhaka Shishu Hospital, told The Independent that the number of patients has increased significantly compared to those of previous years due to early showers. “As a result, we are not able to accommodate the large number of patients in a limited place.”
He, however, urged people not to panic and advised people to visit the doctor a day after having fever. BSS adds: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) will open a separate dengue corner, if necessary, to ensure treatment of dengue patients.
Acting Vice Chancellor of the BSMMU Dr M Shahidullah Sikder said this while addressing a press conference on dengue fever organised by the university yesterday.

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