The number of diarrhoea patients has increased in different parts of the country, especially in Barishal division, in the last few weeks.
Health experts said use of contaminated water in household works, drinking unsafe water amid hot weather, eating food items contaminated with harmful bacterium and lack of maintaining proper hygiene are behind the rise in diarrhoea cases.About 4,90,877 patients have been affected by diarrhoea in eight divisions across the country from January to March, according to a report by Health Emergency Operations Centre and Control Room at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Of them, a total of 1,54,781 patients are in Dhaka division, 40,091 in Mymensingh division, 60,932 in Chattogram division, 38,628 in Rajshahi division, 36,949 in Rangpur division, 1,08,751 in Khulna division, 15,683 in Barishal division and 35,062 in Sylhet division.
Hospital sources said the number of diarrhoea patients has increased in different parts of the country, especially in Barishal division, for the last few weeks amid sweltering summer heat while a number of people with diarrhoeal disease are being admitted to hospitals every day.
The DGHS report said the number of diarrhoea patients has increased in 42 upazilas of six districts of Barishal division as the number of patients has increased notably in the areas in the last few weeks.
“The number of diarrhoea patients is little bit higher in the current month than usual number of patients in April-May. However, the number of patients has declined in the last few days due to various steps taken by the government,” Dr Bashudev Kumar Das, Director (Barishal Division) of the DGHS, told the Daily Sun.
He said a team of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is visiting the area to identify the cause of rise in diarrhoea patients.The DGHS official said on average, 1,500 diarrhoea patients were admitted to different hospitals in Barishal division every day a week back. “Now the number of patients has declined to around 1,000 everyday in the region,” he added.
He further said 1,086 patients were reported on April 27; 1,095 on April 26; 1,210 on April 25; 1,275 on April 24; 1,442 on April 23 and 1,542 on April 22 in Barishal region.
About the rise in diarrhoea patients, Bashudev Kumar said though people of the region drink tube well water, they use unsafe water from pond or river for household works which transmits the disease.
He further said they are carrying out campaign in various ways to make people aware of the danger of using unsafe water and diarrhoea for the last few days and ensuring proper treatment of the patients.
The DGHS report said on average 200-250 patients are being admitted in International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) hospital in the capital in the last few weeks as admission of 298 patients was reported on April 27; 289 on April 26; 301 on April 25; 277 on April 24; 269 on April 23; 296 on April 22 and 342 on April 21.
However, the icddr,b sources said the number of patients may increase after the end of countrywide restriction on public movement imposed by the government since April 4.
Intake of contaminated water and unhygienic food is the major reason for the outbreak of the waterborne disease, the health experts said.
Dhaka Shishu Hospital sources said many children affected by diarrhoea are taking treatment at Out Patient Department of the hospital every day.
Azharul Islam of icddr,b advised people to drink safe water and maintain hygiene in a bid to remain safe from diarrhoea and asked people to consult doctors immediately in case of emergency.
He also advised people to use only safe water and keep oral dehydration saline to provide handy relief to diarrhoea patients.
The country is experiencing searing temperatures for the last couple of days, making public life miserable.
The current heat spell may continue throughout the month and temperature may roam around 40 degree Celsius, Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) sources said.
On Sunday, country's highest temperature 41.2 degrees Celsius was recorded in Jashore which was highest in seven years.
According to the DGHS, 16,67,845 people were affected by diarrhoea across the country, including in Dhaka, last year while 13 of them died.