Hospitals report increase in vomit and diarrhea
Lack of access to safe drinking water, poor hygiene, hot weather and environmental pollution are the main contributing factors.
The number of patients admitted to Indira Ghandi Children’s Hospital, Ataturk Hospital and Antani Hospital with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea has skyrocketed from just over two thousand in April to more than eight thousand in June.
Dr. Norulhaq Yousafzai, Chief of Indira Ghandi Children’s Hospital, said that while 944 patients were admitted with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea in April, 4,436 children were treated for those symptoms in June. Sixteen of those patients died and the rest recovered.
The prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms increases during hot weather, said Dr. Janat Gul Askar Zada, deputy head of Ataturk Hospital. The number of patients suffering from vomiting and diarrhea increased at that hospital from 750 cases in April to 1,500 cases in May and 2,500 cases in June.
Most of the patients arriving at the hospital are residents of Kabul and the surrounding provinces.
According to Dr. Abdul Rahman Akbari, Chief of Antani Hospital, the number of vomiting and diarrhea cases increased from about 364 people in April to 1,470 in June. Patients from around the country come to Antani Hospital for treatment of vomiting and diarrhea.
Such symptoms have increased in adults as well as children, but they are more dangerous for children, Dr. Akbari said.
In previous years, about 32,600 patients have been treated at the three aforementioned hospitals for symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Of those, about 91 children died.
According to doctors, preventing vomiting and diarrhea requires using safe drinking water, avoiding the use of dirty water, practicing good hygiene and handling food carefully.
According to Askar Zada, water from open sources, such as springs and gullies, should be boiled or treated with chlorine before drinking. Additionally, breast-feeding mothers should wash with soap before feeding their infants.
Individuals suffering from vomiting and diarrhea should be given plenty of food and liquids. Breast-feeding mothers who are ill with those symptoms should give their infants formula.
Families should instruct their children not to eat unhealthy foods. Zada also recommended washing hands with soap and water before and after eating and after using the bathroom.
He recommends cleaning fruit for five minutes in chlorine or salt solution, and that those experiencing diarrhea should not eat the same food they consumed prior to the onset of symptoms. Doctors recommend that those who have had more than four episodes of vomiting or diarrhea in 24 hours should go to a doctor or a hospital.
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