Diarrhoeal Patients 3 Times Higher This Time
Friday, 13 March 2009

ICDDR,B Hospital in the capital is grappling with an influx of diarrhoea patients three times the number it had this time last year on a lack of clean drinking water supply, a researcher of the international organisation says.

Dr Shahadat Hossen told bdnews24.com Thursday they opened two additional wards to cope with the pressure.

"This time last year 200-250 patients would get admitted to the hospital every day. Now, the number is over 700."

Wednesday, 770 patients were admitted and by 5 pm Thursday another 500 took admission.

"Water supplied by WASA is dirty and smelly and scarce in many areas," Dr Hossen said.

He added usually diarrhoea breaks out in late April. "But this year, we are facing more patients in early March."

He added that warm weather helps the bacteria replicate faster, leading to increased number of patients.

ICDDR,B Hospital sources said most of the patients are children, but adult patients are increasing in number.

Most of them are from slums and city suburbs, they added.

Dr Hossen said mainly water and power crises are causing diarrhoea.

City dwellers are forced to drink polluted water on a lack of water as frequent power crisis hits the supply.

Many are left with no choice but to eat rotten food because of power failures.

Only Wednesday, ruling Awami League MPs from Dhaka constituencies feared of a violent public outburst if the government does not ease soon the severe water crisis in Dhaka.

The MPs led by local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam met to find out emergency measures to address the water crisis.

Ashraful later said the government would issue executive orders directing MPs of the Dhaka metropolitan and Narayanganj constituencies to coordinate the services of utility agencies, including water and power.


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