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Heatstroke continues to take its toll in Sindh towns

June 25, 2015

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Heat waves affected people being shifted to Civil Hospital for treatment, in Hyderabad on Wednesday. —PPI
Heat waves affected people being shifted to Civil Hospital for treatment, in Hyderabad on Wednesday. —PPI

HYDERABAD: At least 23 people have died of heatstroke and complications caused by extremely hot conditions in several Sindh towns since Tuesday evening.

In Hyderabad, bodies of 15 people were brought to the Liaquat University Hospital (LUH) on Wednesday who had apparently suffered heatstroke or complications caused by extreme hot weather. Except for a woman who was from Sanghar and an undertrial prisoner, all the deceased belonged to different localities of Hyderabad.

The management of the Edhi Welfare Centre said their volunteers had received 36 bodies from different government and private hospitals since June 18 when the heat spell gripped the city.

The LUH’s focal person Dr Saleem Raza said that 13 patients, mostly over 50 years of age, who had apparently died from different complications caused by hot weather had been brought to the LUH since Tuesday.

The LUH has though officially confirmed only the death of Ms Musarrat, a resident of Sanghar, from heatstroke. She had high fever and the undertrial prisoner too had high fever when they reported at the hospital. The post-mortem examination on the UTP was yet to be conducted as he died in custody, said Dr Raza.

The Edhi Welfare Centre manager Mairajuddin said the heirs of 36 bodies the centre handled since June 18 told the ambulances’ drivers that their patient was already a diabetic or had cardiac problems and their condition aggravated because of heat.

Director General of Health Services Sindh, Dr Hassan Murad Shah, said that the statistics his office was collecting from all district hospitals and even teaching hospitals of the province showed that no death was caused by heatstroke.

“I don’t deny that people are not dying of heatstroke. I only say that only a post-mortem examination can confirm the cause of death. Heatstroke cases are being reported from across Sindh but no death has officially been confirmed so far as having been caused by heat,” he said.

He said that until June 24, 224 cases of heatstroke were reported across Sindh and of them 144 were admitted to hospitals with no report of deaths from any hospital.

He said that diarrhoea cases also appeared to be within normal range. A total of 4,169 cases of seasonal diarrhoea were reported in June 2014 and of them 319 were admitted while until June 23, 4,076 cases were reported and 228 of them were admitted to hospitals, he said.

In Naushahro Feroze, two women and a man died of heatstroke in Tharoshah town, 10 km from here. Shabnam, 22, and Lal Khatoon, 26, were brought to the town’s hospital in precarious condition but died before getting any medical help while a peon Luqman, 52, lost life because of extreme heat.

In Badin, the extreme heat killed five elderly men, taking the death toll from the heatstroke in the district over the past few days to 27.

Meanwhile, the Shikarpur district administration has set up 10 heatstroke relief camps in four taluka hospitals to provide treatment to heatstroke victims.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2015

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