Another monster has fallen on the neck of the health department that is working to prevent polio and other diseases, diphtheria has taken the lives of 16 people for which emergency measures are needed.
According to the news published in local & national newspapers 16 people died due to the spread of diphtheria in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So far 328 people have been affected by the disease.
The affected people range from 6 months old children to 68 years of age but the health department does not have anti-diphtheria serum for patients due to that the situation has become more alarming.
In hospitals the visiting patients are also facing severe difficulties due to non-availability of ADC. According to the health department cases of diphtheria have been reported from 28 districts of the province but Peshawar, Kohat, Karak, Khyber and Charsadda are the most affected, 68 cases have been reported from Peshawar alone.
According to medical experts it is possible to prevent the disease only by complete vaccination of children. The spokesperson of EPI program has said that electronic immunization registry program of children has been started in the province.
The claims of the health department in this regard are valid but there is a need to take more measures to prevent the deadly disease diphtheria.
In particular there is a need to install Emergency in the three major hospitals and various RHCs, including the Children’s Hospital of the provincial capital Peshawar where the highest number of cases were registered in which it is feared that many patients has been brought from Charsadda, Khyber, Karak and other districts.
Meanwhile in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the health department officials have confirmed that three children died of diphtheria in Shabara area.
The spokesman of the health department said that the virus has been transmitted from a resident of Nowshera district to children.
Tariq, the father of the deceased 12-year-old student Abdullah of Shabara area of Charsada district said that his son was suffering from fever and he took him to the nearby dispenser where he was treated, Medicines were given to him but it did not help him and after a few hours Abdullah lost his life.
The death of three children in Shabara area has scared other residents. Following the deaths the district administration has closed government primary and middle schools for a week.
It should be noted that the said area is flood-prone around which flows the Khyali River and the Jinde River. Due to the flood various types of germs are found in the area from which children and adults are suffering from various diseases but there are no medical facilities here where millions of people live, most of them are rural people.
According to the Health Department 30 cases of diphtheria have been reported in Charsadda which includes the areas of Tangi, Umarzai, Dargai, Dussehra and Shabara.
The picture that drawn by the health department, there is diphtheria virus in Peshawar and its surroundings due to what more lives may be lost.
On the other hand due to the rain the weather has also turned cold which has sounded the alarm for the children. Therefore there is a need for the health department to distribute diphtheria prevention drugs and injections in hospitals.
The parents also have to be careful and take children to the fake (attai) doctors sitting in the streets in case of complaints of fever and sore throat. Instead of that they should approach the government hospitals so that they can get timely medical help.
Apart from this, the caretaker government should self-evaluate the measures taken in this regard in government hospitals so that the shortcomings and flaws in the arrangements can be removed.
It is hoped that the provincial health minister will visit the affected areas in these circumstances and where necessary the emergency measures will be taken.