Number of children with pneumonia doubles in southeast
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): A number of children have died of pneumonia in southeastern provinces this Afghan year, when more minors contracted the infectious disease, public health officials say.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, public health officials in Logar, Paktia and Khost provinces said hospital statistics showed a nearly 50 percent increase in pneumonia cases during the solar year that ends on March 21.
Paktia civil hospital director Dr. Haya Gul Paktin said more than 1500 children of pneumonia patients were brought to the hospital this winter alone.
He said the number of children suffering from pneumonia stood at 900 last year and this year’s figures showed a 40 percent increase in the patients.
“We were delivered 900 children with pneumonia last year and the number of such patients rose to more than 1500 this year,” he said.
Khost civil hospital head Dr. Abdul Majeed Mangal said they had recorded up to 40 percent increase in the number of children suffering from pneumonia this year.
He did not provide figures for this year’s infected children, but said their number had lately increased.
Logar Public Health Director Dr. Zarif told Pajhwok Afghan News a 30 percent increase in child pneumonia patients had been noticed in the province this year, but gave no figure.
Health officials in these provinces linked the disease spread to a prolonged dry spell, dry, cold and dusty air and carelessness by parents.
Meanwhile, Paktika Public Health Director Dr. Wali Gul said there had been some decrease in the number of child pneumonia patients this year.
He said during the last six months of last year, 1155 children with pneumonia were brought to the civil hospital against 900 children during the same period this year.
“Though dry and filthy air contributes to pneumonia spread, I believe the disease declined in Paktika due to a lack of snowfall.”
These officials said a number of children might have died of the disease, but they had no official figures.
A resident of Mandozai district of Khost, Mohammad Rauf Khan, said he had changed many doctors in a bid to get his girl child recovered from pneumonia.
“I have shown the child to a number of doctors over the last three days. The doctors have subscribed her piles of medicines, but she is not recovering.”
A child specialist, Dr. Mohammad Arif Thanai, said minors needed to be kept warm and away from infected ones. They could be protected from contracting pneumonia, if secured from cold, smoke and other unhygienic things.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.