Govt to increase hospital beds for dengue patients in capital

A boy sits on the hospital bed as he has been hospitalised with dengue in the capital’s Mugda Medical College and Hospital on 11 July 2023.
Tanvir Ahammed

As the government hospitals designated for dengue treatment sees a growing admission of patients amid a surge in the mosquito-borne disease across the country, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has taken initiative to increase the number of beds at various hospitals in Dhaka.

The DGHS also requested people from outside the capital not to come to Dhaka to receive treatment for dengue since there are necessary arrangements for treating dengue patient at hospital outside Dhaka

The director general (planning and development) of DGHS professor Ahmedul Kabir was speaking to journalists during a virtual briefing on Wednesday.

According to DGHS’s Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room, 14 people died in the last 24 hours till Wednesday morning, raising the death toll from this mosquito-borne disease to 215 while hospitalisation from dengue crossed 40,000.

Currently, 18 government hospitals and two autonomous hospitals, which run on government funds, are providing treatment to dengue patients. Each hospital has a specific number of beds. Sources said dengue admission surpasses the number of beds at several hospitals.

There are a total of 500 beds in the capital’s Mugda Medical College and Hospital, but more than 1,000 patients including 566 dengue patients were admitted to this hospital on Wednesday.

There are 42 beds designated for dengue treatment at Bangladesh Shishu Hospital and Institute, but 89 chidren were admitted to this hospital on Wednesday.

Ahmedul Kabir told journalists initiative has been taken to increase the number of beds for dengue patients at most of the government hospitals in the capital.

There are 250 beds designated for dengue patients at Kurmitola General Hospital and 100 more beds will be added to treat dengue patients.

More beds designated for dengue patients will be added to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital.

Saying that no more beds will be added to Mugda Medical College and Hospital, Ahmedul Kabir added, no dengue patients comes to the Mugda hospital for treatment for now.

According to the DGHS, there were 2,500 beds for dengue patients left vacant at the government hospital in Dhaka until Wednesday afternoon and these hospital beds are likely to be filled by dengue patients soon.

Ahmedul Kabir said, on average, dengue hospitalisation stands at 1,200 a day while daily recovery is 900, and that means hospitals sees a rise of 300 patients daily.

Though many patients living outside Dhaka are coming to various government and private hospitals in the capital, there was no dengue patient at several hospitals designated by the government on Wednesday.

Officials of DGHS said there are trained physicians for dengue treatment at all district and upazila hospitals. Besides, all government hospitals have adequate equipment and treatment instruction. Pressure of patients will rise once patients come to Dhaka from outside.

“Receive treatment wherever you are,” Ahmedul Kabir said.

Dengue service from 16263

Other than the hospital admission, many people are receiving treatment for dengue at home. Many are also receiving treatment at the personal chamber of the physicians. Some are even receiving treatment and advices online.

The national Health Call Centre 16263 is providing advice to people on dengue every day. Data from the national health line call centre said, the helpline received a total of 366,634 calls from 1 May to 25 July. Of which, 18,650 calls were related to advice on dengue, and that means 217 people received advice and treatment on dengue a day the Health Call Centre.

Health Call Centre chief executive officer Nizam Uddin Ahmed said, “A large number of patient is receiving series through telemedicine, and that means disease of many people are not being detected. I think people must be more aware and capacity must be increase in service providing areas.”

Latest situation

According to the DGHS’s Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room, 2,653 more people were hospitalised with dengue in the last 24 hours. Of the hospital admissions, 1,327 were in Dhaka and 1,326 were outside the capital.

This year, a total of 40,341 people have been hospitalised with dengue so far; 59 per cent of the patients were from Dhaka and 49 per cent were outside Dhaka. A total of 215 people died in dengue this year; of them, 172 were in Dhaka and 43 onside the capital.