A sharp increase was seen in the number of sick children being brought into hospitals across Sindh during the heatwave last week amid Cyclone Tauktae and Eid-ul-Fitr, say health officials.
Most of these children were suffering from diarrhea (gastroenteritis), viral fever, upper respiratory tract infections and fever with fits
“There were many children who required immediate emergency treatment due to the intense heat and related illnesses. In Karachi, most of the children were brought to Childlife Foundation’s emergency facilities from Orangi Town, Nazimabad, Korangi, Lyari and Liaquatabad,” said Dr Irfan Habib.
Dr Habib, who is a medical director of ChildLife Foundation, said that the heatwave badly affected children from May 10-18 and incidents of paediatric diseases had risen sharply.
A total of 22,000 children were reportedly received at the foundation’s emergency facilities in Sindh and Balochistan from May 10-18.
The foundation has emergency services at the Civil hospitals in Karachi and Quetta, National Institute of Child Health, Sindh Government Hospital Korangi-5, Lyari General Hospital, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Peoples Medical College Hospital, Nawabshah, Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Hyderabad and Ghulam Muhammad Mehar Medical College Hospital, Sukkur.
The emergency rooms of the ChildLife Foundation are the result of a public-private partnership between the governments of Sindh and Balochistan.
How to keep your children safe in a heatwave
Dr Habib asked parents to keep their children at home, prevent unnecessary exposure to sunlight and give plenty of water to children who are more than six months old.
He suggested that frequent hand washing can keep children safe from germs. “If a child is feeling hot, try to rinse their face more often and avoid feeding them unhygienic food,” said Dr Habib.
If the child does not improve at home, Dr Habib advised that the family consult a physician at the earliest. The health official maintained that the ChildLife Foundation was playing an important role in providing emergency treatment to children and the emergency rooms of the foundation were operational 24 hours a day.