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Water-borne diseases on the rise in ICT

Islamabad: All public sector healthcare facilities operating in rural areas of Islamabad Capital Territory are receiving significant number of patients with water-borne diseases after the onset of hot and humid weather in the region however ICT Health Department claims that the situation is well under control at the time.

A total of 18 healthcare facilities including 14 Basic Health Units, three Rural Health Centres and one dispensary operating in as many as 15 union councils of ICT rural areas have been receiving 60 to 70 patients with water-borne diseases daily on average and the number is on the rise.

The Islamabad Capital Territory Health Department has already taken necessary measures to prevent and control spread of water-borne diseases and stockpiling of rehydration solutions and antibiotics to manage cases at the healthcare facilities has also been done, said Additional District Health Officer at ICT Health Department Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani while talking to ‘The News’ on Monday.

He said the teams of ICT Health Department comprising lady health workers and sanitary inspectors have started working in the field and have been creating awareness among public on taking precautionary measures to prevent and control suspected water born and vector born diseases.

In the existing hot and humid weather, there is a threat of possible outbreaks of Cholera, Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD), Hepatitis A&E, Gastroenteritis and Malaria, he said.He added that in the wake of expected outbreaks of water borne diseases in the ICT during the current monsoon season, the ICT health department has directed all the concerned field staff to create awareness among community as public is to be made aware of the increased risk of monsoon health threats.

Dr. Durrani said during and after rains, the sewage water may pollute drinking water at sources and in lines even if there is no leakage in service lines. The best remedy to avoid water-borne diseases is to make drinking water safe before consumption, he said.

In this regard, he said the community education can play an important role in averting possible outbreaks of monsoon related infections as the water borne diseases mainly result from consumption of contaminated water and the poor hygienic environment and conditions, people are living in particularly in congested areas and rural areas of the federal capital, he said.

He said it is found that scores of people getting ill and landing in hospitals with complaints of vomiting, diarrhoea and dysentery, commonly called gastroenteritis from May to September.He added the ICT Health Department is closely monitoring the situation to avoid any water born outbreaks. Epidemics are first recognised at the Rural Health Centre (RHC) and Basic Health Unit (BHU) level where the weekly number of cases in each area is being compared with baseline data derived from routine surveillance during previous months and years, he said.

Source: The News International