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63 Ghor children die of pneumonia, measles in 9 months

63 Ghor children die of pneumonia, measles in 9 months

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Jan 18, 2018 - 19:50

FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): Local healthinfo-icon officials say 63 children died of measles and pneumonia diseases over the last nine months in western Ghorinfo-icon province amid lack of child health specialists.

The officials said despite taking measures to control the diseases, the number of children affected was increasing with each passing day.

Dr. Jumma Gul Yaqobi, head of Ghor Civil Hospital, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News confirmed receiving 4,700 children suffering from measles and pneumonia over the last nine months. He said of the children, 58 lost their lives.

He said the number of children suffering from measles disease increased in last two months and five children had so far died of the disease in this period.

“Most of those losing lives were brought to the hospital late and their ages are less than one year, the signs of this disease include fever, cough, runny nose, anorexia sweat and some other signs that could be find in children under nine months of age,” he said.

Yaqobi added cold weather, non implementation of vaccine, poverty, malnutrition and parents carelessness were reasons behind the increase of the diseases.

“It is known to all that Ghor is one of cold and economically poor province, some of its areas are influenced by militants who do not allow vaccination of children, families also pay less attention to their children’s health, these reasons in general can increase diseases in children,” he said.

On the other hand, a number of Ghor residents complained about lack of access to children’s health specialists and said their patients remained hospitalized in the Ghor Civil Hospital for a long time without being cured.

Abdul Baqi, who brought his child suffering from pneumonia to Ghor Civil Hospital, said he wandered in the hospital for 20 days to seek treatment for his child.

“I came 20 days ago from Shahrak district to this hospital and since we are here waiting for our child to recover, but the doctors are careless about us, they check patient only once in 24 hours, if someone has connection with the doctors, their patient is checked every hour,” he said.

The Ghor Civil Hospital head agreed with these complaints to some extent and said there was no children specialist in the hospital where sometimes the number of child patients reached dozens. “”That is why children’s diseases are not properly diagnosed.

Provincial acting public health director, Abdul Latif Rahimi, also said they recently registered 54 cases of pneumonia in children from areas on the outskirts of Firozkoh city, the provincial capital and two of the children lost their lives.

He said 50 percent of children in Ghor did not receive pneumonia vaccination and that was the reason of high number of children’s deaths from the disease.

“The number of deaths from these diseases is high but statistics could not be collected from some areas due to impassable routes,” he said.

“We have 54 cases from areas on the outskirts of Firozkoh city, two persons died from measles disease, pneumonia diseases has also increased and is rapidly spreading, that is because half of our children do not receive vaccination for several reasons including insecurity,” he said.

Rahimi confirmed absence of children’s health professionals in Ghor Civil Hospital and said the public health department had tried to employ children’ health doctors but no any of such doctors interested to work in Ghor.

“MoPH provides many privileges to children doctors, but they don’t show interest to work in the provincial civil hospital”, he said.

Ghor officials say the provincial civil hospital is the only hospital having 180 beds that provides health services to nearly a million population of the province.

mds/ma

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