Number of children suffering from cold-related diseases on the rise

Thirteen-month-old Ayatullah Mushfira Humaira was watching cartoons on the cellphone in her mother’s lap on a hospital bed. She starts crying as soon as she sees strangers.

Her mother Monira Siddika said that Humaira has been given injections a few times. She is crying when she sees anyone in fear of being given injections again.  

Humaira is undergoing treatment at the pneumonia ward of Dhaka Shishu Hospital under Bangladesh Shishu Hospital and Institute in the capital. She was admitted to the hospital on 16 January. Before that she had undergone treatment at Narsingdi Sadar Hospital for a day.

The number of patients admitted in different hospitals across the country is increasing every day in this bitter cold weather. There’s extra pressure of children and elderly patients. Apart from the hospitals, the number of such patients is also higher in the chambers of specialist physicians.

Visiting the pneumonia ward of Dhaka Shuishu Hospital on Monday afternoon, all the 16 beds of that ward were found occupied by patients.

Besides all three cabins were full as well, stated two of the nurses on duty at that ward. There was a crowd of patients’ relatives outside of the ward and at the ticket counter of the hospital’s emergency department.

Resident physician at the hospital and assistant professor Farhana Ahmed told Prothom Alo that the patients (children) suffering from different cold-related diseases are rising in number. The figures are almost double than that from last month.

Patients suffering from pneumonia, allergy and flu are getting admitted more. Many patients are coming to the hospital from outside of Dhaka as well. As the number of patients suffering from other ailments including dengue is comparatively less now, there is no issue with patients’ admission, she added.

39 per cent suffering pneumonia

A total of 164 patients are admitted against 240 beds at Dr MR Khan Shishu Hospital in capital’s Mirpur area. As many as 65 of those children are affected with pneumonia which is 39.64 per cent of the total patient admitted in the hospital.

Deputy director (administration) of the hospital Jannat Ali said that more patients are getting admitted due to cold-related diseases compared to the number of admission during the dengue upsurge.

Situation outside of Dhaka

Visiting Adhunik Sadar Hospital in Panchagarh, the northernmost district of the country, it was found that a total of 206 patients are admitted in the 100-bed hospital. Out of them, 57 are male, 67 are female patients while 82 are newborns and children.

A majority of the 62 children admitted to the hospital’s children’s ward are suffering from cold-related diarrhoea. Besides, some children are suffering from different other cold-related diseases including cold and fever.

Meanwhile all the 20 newborns admitted in the newborn care unit are being treated for almost the same problems. As the beds have fallen short, patients are being treated by accommodating them on the floor as well as in the corridors.

Surovi Akther spoke from the corridors of the hospital. She has been staying there for the last three days with her 21-months-old son Jabir suffering from diarrhoea. Jabir’s condition is getting better now.

Civil surgeon in Panchagarh Mostafa Zaman Chowdhury said that the number of patients suffering from cold-related diseases has been increasing in the hospital for the last couple of days. Majority of these patients are just children suffering from diarrhoea mostly.

Because of the mild cold wave continuing for several days at a stretch the number of patients is rising in Natore also.

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According to Natore Adhunik Sadar Hospital sources, the average number of outdoor patients receiving treatment at the hospital has been crossing 1,000 for the last two days. Majority of the patients are coming to hospital with inflammation in the respiratory system, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Due to the dense fog and cold air coming from the north, the pressure of patients suffering from cold-related diseases is rising every day at Kurigram General Hospital.  

According to sources of the 250-bed district sadar hospital there were total 380 patients admitted in the hospital on Monday. Out of them, there were 48 patients admitted in the 12-bed diarrhoea ward and 81 patients admitted in the children’s ward.

At the 100-bed Chuadanga Sadar Hospital, the number of diarrhoea patients alone has surpassed the bar of 100. The number of patients admitted in the hospital on Monday was 358 including 56 children.

The district of Naogaon has been experiencing a mild cold wave for three days at a stretch. There were 60 patients admitted in the children’s and diarrhoea wards of 250-bed Naogaon General Hospital till 8:00am on Monday. Without finding beds, many patients were receiving treatment on the hospital floor.

[Staff correspondents and correspondents of the respective areas have helped with information in writing this report.]