70 children die from pneumonia in Herat in 3 months
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Local health officials on Monday said 70 children infected with pneumonia had died during the past three months alone in western Herat province.
Mohammad Sahfiq Sherzai, Herat Zonal Hospital spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 7,487 children infected with infectious, respiratory and cold diseases had been delivered at the hospital over the past three months.
As the air turned cold, more than 100 children with pneumonia started arriving at the hospital on a daily basis, he said, adding that 20 to 25 in every 100 children infected with pneumonia were in critical condition.
“The number of children suffering from pneumonia and cough referred to the hospital has reached 7,487. Of them 849 children are in critical condition and 70 of them have died from pneumonia,” Sherzai said.
He said they were concerned about increasing number of children infected with pneumonia, a majority of the infected children coming from remote areas.
Sherzai said one of the causes of children deaths from pneumonia was their arbitrary treatment by their parents. Most of the patients were under six years of age.
He asked parents to take their children under five years to healthcare centers for vaccination.
Children’s affairs director at the Herat public health deparment, Abdul Ahad Rahimi, confirmed cases of pneumonia had increased in Herat and blamed it on negligence of parents living in remote areas.
Rahimi said their health teams in districts and remote areas were active and people could approach them for treatment of their children.
“Parents should try not to act arbitrary about their children’s health, some drugs even cause death to children,” he said.
Shafiqa, the mother of three children with one of them infected with pneumonia, said: “One of my sons has been coughing since a week. I gave him acetaminophen but his condition did not improve, then I gave him a cough syrup that worsened his condition and I took him to hospital.”
However, Dr. Wahid Ahmad Faqiri, a pediatric specialist in Herat Zonal Hospital about prevention of pneumonia disease told Pajhwok that parents should keep their infected children away from other healthy children.
Mothers infected with cough should use masks and keep themselves away from their children, he added.
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