DERA GHAZI KHAN, June 1: As many as 250 gastroenteritis patients including 39 children have been admitted to the DHQ hospital here during the last three days and the number is increasing.
The disease which has already hit Faisalabad and some other districts of the province has reportedly claimed at least 15 lives, most of its victims being children and aged people.
Most of the patients brought to the DHQ hospital were residents of urban union councils.
The local DHQ hospital is facing an acute shortage of required quantity of medicines and bottled water to cater to the needs of such a large number of patients, for which the district administration is being blamed.
According to the hospital sources, the facility is short of funds required for purchase of medicines and bottled water.
Concerned citizens and medical experts are accusing the tehsil municipal administration of failing to provide safe potable water to the people, which they say is the cause of disease outbreak.
The four water purification plants installed by the TMA have become useless because of lack of maintenance, they add.
They said the water-supply pipes laid back in early 80’s had become rusted and needed to be replaced, but the TMA didn’t bother to take any remedial steps.
The hospital’s chief physician, Dr Mohammed Yousif, told Dawn that the situation was under control as no casualty had been reported among the registered patients.
An on-duty nurse at the hospital said there was an urgent need for more doctors and paramedics to cope with the epidemic as only one nurse was presently attending 30 patients which was by no means a good ratio, and the shortage was definitely affecting the healthcare standard.
The hospital medical store in charge Ashraf Khan told Dawn that the facility had no budget for the local purchase of medicines. He said to meet the emergency the citizens as well the Medical Store Association had donated medicines but these were still short. The urgently required medicines included Ampiciline, Ciprofloxcine, KCL and Metromedazole injections, besides bottled water, he added.