Karachi becoming a ‘dengue city’

Karachi: Karachi is becoming a ‘dengue city, as the cases of this viral fever are rising sharply in the metropolis. Almost all government run hospitals in Karachi lack facilities as the number of dengue cases rise in Karachi, resulting in a lot of miseries for poor patients.

According to officials figures dengue fever cases in Karachi have crossed 1500 mark; however, the unofficial estimates say the dengue cases in Karachi are more than 5000. The official death toll of dengue viral fever this year so far is 13.

Every hospital and big clinic in the city is receiving cases of high grade fever daily, many of them might be of dengue fever. The laboratory tests for dengue in private laboratories are beyond the reach of common people, while only in a limited government hospital these tests are available. There is a need to fix a rate of dengue fever tests for at private laboratories on the pattern of Punjab province, while at all government hospitals these tests should be conducted free of cost.

The government hospitals of Karachi mostly lack adequate facilities of isolation wards, trained doctors and paramedics, equipment, blood transfusion and medicines to treat the dengue patients. This pathetic situation compels people to shift the dengue patients to costly private hospitals and clinics. A well reputed private facility charges as high as Rs0.5mn for admission, lab tests, hospital stay and treatment of a dengue patient and only a few well-to-do families could afford it.

Overflowing gutters and leaking water pipes have created puddles on stagnant water in almost all localities of the city, favorite breeding grounds for mosquitoes. There is no coordinated and comprehensive fumigation drive in the city; besides poor garbage collection is turning the city into a big garbage heap. The government of Sindh unlike its counterpart in Punjab province is not taking serious preventive and curative efforts against dengue viral fever, especially in mega city of Karachi, which is sadly becoming a ‘dengue city’ due to poor sanitary conditions and lack of preventive drives at the government level.

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