Heatstroke continues to take toll: 3 more die: Diarrhoea turns endemic City water system contaminated

April 29, 2009

Diarrhoea outbreak in the city has become phenomenal as the inhabitants have no other way except for drinking muddy and stinking water.
Scorching heat continues all over the country, our correspondents from Bhola, Rangpur and Gopalganj have reported that one person in each place has died of heatstroke.
The deceased are Yasen Patwari (65) of Charfashion Upazila of Bhola, Korban Ali (42), police constable of Gangachara Thana of Rangpur and Shawkat Mia (35) of Kotalipara Upazila of Gopalganj.
According to Met Office temperature is benignly falling down. Country’s highest temperature 39.2 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday at Jessore. The temperature was 36.4 degree Celsius at Dhaka.
There was no rain in the country for the last 10 days. The highest temperature 42.8 degree Celsius was recorded on Monday in Jessore. The Met Office source said that the heat wave would continue to flow for next two to three days.
Around 1000 diarrhoea patients continuously get admitted to International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR’B) at Mohakhali over the last few days. Most of the patients have been suffering from severe diarrhoea.
Expert physicians said the patients with complaint of serious dehydration get admitted to the ICDDR, B everyday and their number about 4-5 times higher than in normal time. The sudden influx is due to scorching heat and contaminated WASA water.
Dr Azharul Islam Khan, Head of Short Stay Unit of ICDDR, B said, “diarrhoea spreads out in summer which is quite normal. But this year diarrhoea takes the form of outbreak as inhabitants of Dhaka city drink impure water in want of pure water.”
The heat is unique for all the parts of the country. “The heat is equal in Gazipur or Comilla just like Dhaka city. But the people of the city become victim of diarrhoea more in comparison with other parts of the country. Why? Because, inhabitants of the Dhaka is drinking stench water,” added Azharul Islam. People of the slum areas of the city have become more vulnerable to diarrhoeal disease. Patients from Mohammadpur and Mirpur come to ICDDR, B for treatment.
According to experts drinking this contaminated water for long time increases the risk of different diseases like cancer, liver diseases and jaundice.
A study conducted by Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) revealed ‘extremely high organic pollution’ in the waters test results. The report also mentions high concentration of total dissolved solids, chloride, sulphate, ammonia, cadmium and the heavy metal chromium in the polluted water.
Dr Fahmida Tofail, Assistant Scientist of Clinical Sciences Division (CSD) said, the diarrhoea germs during this season could easily and swiftly affect the people and cause the disease. “Many patients come from the city’s slum areas, which suffer from chronic shortage of pure drinking water,” she added.
Senior staff nurse of ICDDR, B, Irene Suma Gomez said that everyday on average some 500 patients stay in the hospital while another 300 are discharged or admitted.
Quoting figures from the record file, she said they recorded some 883 patients on Saturday, 863 on Sunday and 839 on Monday (on 24 hour basis) and some 317 patients recorded till yesterday noon.

Original Article on The New Nation

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