TWINS — Aliza and Humayun — aged four years ate some chips from a food outlet from a posh area of Hyderabad. The boy died and his sister survived after one day on a ventilator which was made available after some delay and contacting various hospitals.
There is no sample testing facility under Sindh food department/food control authority, which became operational in 2018. A similar case was reported from a posh area of Karachi where food from a restaurant caused poisoning. The mother survived but her two children died.
What are the causes of food poisoning and lack of food safety? There are germs, including bacteria salmonella, botulinum, norwalk virus, bacillus cereus, sapovirus, astrovirus, compylobacter, chemicals, pesticides and other toxins and colouring agents.
The symptoms of food poisoning are stomach tenusmus, motions, vomiting, fever, weakness, nausea, headache, eyesight, speechlessness dehydration, dry tongue, low urine, and haematuria.
To prevent food poisoning we need to take public health and preventive measures and food surveillance. Besides, there should be first aid and advanced healthcare, including ventilators and diagnostic and food testing facilities all over Pakistan.
Dr Hussain Bux Kolachi
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2019