No respite in dangerous pneumonia in Lahore

Editorial Feb, 12 2024
No respite in dangerous pneumonia in Lahore
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The spread of dangerous pneumonia could not stop in Punjab and this deadly disease swallowed the lives of three more children.  During the last two days, 366 new cases of pneumonia and 172 new cases were reported in Lahore.  Due to the change in the weather, this year, the entire country of Punjab has come under the grip of this kind of cold that was never seen before. Smog fueled the fire and people began to suffer from various diseases.  Especially in Punjab, pneumonia became an epidemic, which caused 338 deaths in the province this year, 23 thousand 290 people fell victim to the disease, while 61 in Lahore. Deaths and 4 thousand 823 cases were reported.

Now that the weather has started to show signs of positive change and bright sunshine has also started to appear, if the series of pneumonia cases does not stop, the main reason for this is to keep precautions.  It may be because if it is sunny during the day, then the weather turns cold again in the evening. On top of that, sometimes the wind starts blowing. For this reason, children, old people and young people are all affected by not taking precautionary measures. Pneumonia is actually a lung infection, most cases are caused by a virus and it usually appears after cold symptoms.  The disease is more common in children five years of age and younger. The main reasons are lack of nutrition, prolonged exposure to cold and weak immune system.  Our collective attitude is to take precautionary measures as soon as an epidemic occurs, but then gradually become careless, one of the reasons for this is the health department. It is also not providing continuous awareness to the people about any epidemic.  We have seen the attitude of public and government even in the days of Corona. Now we have to change our attitudes collectively that immediate prevention of climate change is not possible. Earlier last month,  a media report said that 172 people have died of pneumonia so far in Punjab during the current winter season. 1155 cases were reported in Lahore, in which the number of dead people is 43.  The number of people affected by pneumonia in the whole province is said to be 7,743, while 10 more people died in just 24 hours. This is very worrying. It is a growing situation.  Not only Punjab, all regions of the country are in the grip of drought and severe cold. Children, old and young are all affected by not taking precautionary measures. Negligence in prevention of cold is the cause of pneumonia.  It is necessary to take care in the light of the instructions of medical experts at both individual and collective levels. However, there is no awareness campaign by the health department in any of the provinces. General elections are coming up, lest the disease escalates and hampers administrative affairs.

Realizing and taking necessary steps is the indispensable need of the hour. According to medical experts, pneumonia is caused by both viruses and bacteria. It is not contagious in itself, but its germs can infect another person. Usually, it starts with a cold or influenza, followed by carelessness.  The disease settles in the lungs, difficulty in breathing and an increase in body temperature are common symptoms. In such a situation, although people follow the tips or measures given by each other, it is better that the health department is active at the national level and takes all necessary steps as per the instructions of the medical experts.

Meanwhile, dengue is also on the rise in the country, particularly Punjab, where increased number of dengue and malaria have been reported. In this connection, the complete draining out of rain water is vital and also the repair of damaged water supply lines and broken gutters in the city. There is also an urgent need for   fumigation drives in the city to check the mosquito menace which are spreading Malaria and dengue in the country. After the confirmation of the health departments across the country that the number of malaria patients has more than doubled this year compared to the last two years, dengue has also started to raise its head for a few days. According to official statistics, 31,000 cases of malaria have been reported in Punjab alone in recent months, while 828 dengue patients have been brought to hospitals in recent days, but no death has been reported.  Malaria and dengue fever are caused by the bite of two different species of mosquito. Ignorance, climatic conditions, lack of sanitation and lack of preventive measures in rural areas lead to breeding of all kinds of mosquitoes.  Malaria and dengue tests are expensive and beyond the reach of the poor. This is why malaria is called a disease of the poor.  Meanwhile, cases of dengue fever are increasing rapidly in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal capital Islamabad, and the coming month are likely to increase and spread. A minimum of mosquito repellent should be used. The specific dengue mosquito lays its eggs in clean water, so clean water containers in homes should be well covered to prevent the breeding of this mosquito. Before the situation gets out of control, the provincial health departments and the local bodies should take concrete steps to tackle malaria and dengue with immediate attention.

It is very unfortunate that despite serious efforts, we are unable to eradicate the serious diseases from our society. On the one hand, the news regarding polio re-emergence are circulating while on the other spread of TB is making rounds on social media. Moreover, the fact that diseases such as polio, which have become extinct worldwide, have not been eradicated in Pakistan, is indeed a very sad matter.  On this, another heartbreaking news has come out that every year about 3 thousand children are diagnosed with blood cancer in the country. This was revealed by health experts in a press conference organized by a pharmaceutical company.  He said that early diagnosis of the disease is necessary for complete treatment and it is very important to establish medical centers in the country equipped with all required facilities in which patients can be fully treated because they have to face serious side effects of medicines.  The problem is that there is no accurate data about blood cancer in Pakistan. No cancer registry system has been established at the local level, so the available data is not enough to assess the exact situation.  It has been reported that drug availability is not a major problem in the case of blood cancer, the real challenge is in dealing with health complications that may arise during and after treatment.

Published in The Daily National Courier, February, 13 2024

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NC Desk
NC Desk
Daily National Courier is a leading morning English newspaper of twelve pages covering all international and national political developments on 24/7 basis.

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