Two die of heatstroke
KARACHI – Two persons reportedly died of heatstroke in Karachi on Friday but the health department officials avoided confirming the casualties. Rescue sources informed that a person namely Sharafat Jokhio was found unconscious near the Manghopir Shrine. Receiving information, he was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.Similarly, another person identified as Sattar, a resident of Orangi Town died of heatstroke.
The rescue workers shifted the body to Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, Orangi Town. However, the health department officials denied any heatstroke death in the city.Reportedly, four other people were also affected due to hot weather. Two of them were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, said rescue sources. Meanwhile, the Sindh Health Department and Karachi Municipal Corporation have put all public hospitals on high alert in Karachi and instructed heads of healthcares to make all necessary arrangements to save people from expected heatstroke and other heat-related health problems.
The emergency has been declared in public sector hospitals throughout Karachi following the forecast of mild heat-wave from 22 to 25 April 2016, by the Pakistan Meteorological Department. The temperature gradually increases from Friday ranging from 38°C to 40°C, and is predicted to continue till Sunday. The citizens have been advised to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary exposure to sun. The Met department has asked citizens to increase their intake of water to prevent a heatstroke.
The heatwaves claimed over 1500 lives last summer.Director Health Services Karachi Dr Shakoor Abbasi, while talking to media that said all public hospitals had been put on high alert in the city and heads of hospitals have been directed to ensure availability of doctors, medical staff, and medicines in healthcare centres. He further said medical superintendents had been directed to ensure presence of medical staff in the Accident and Emergency Department of the hospitals besides availability of lifesaving drugs, beds, and functional ambulances.
He said that Emergency Control Room had been established in Director Health Services Karachi Office at Civic Centre to cope with any heatstroke like medical emergency.On the other hands, Senior Director Health & Medical Services Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Dr Muhammad Ali Abbasi had already declared emergency in KMC run hospitals. The heads of hospitals had been directed to ensure presence of doctors, paramedics and medicines in institutions.
All necessary medical facilities and medicines have been provided to hospitals in this regard. The leaves of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff have been cancelled in all public hospitals, while ambulance service also put on high alert.
Similarly, Head of Accident and Emergency Department, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Dr Seemin Jamali advised the citizens to adopt preventive measures to avoid heatstroke in summer, adding there is no need to panic as overall situation is different this year if compared to previous year.Dr Seemin said that the provincial and city governments and other organisations have devised a comprehensive heatwave emergency plan to save citizens from expected heatwave like situation in the light of Pakistan Meteorological Department forecast, so situation is completely different this year if compared to the year of 2015, when the govt did not take any advance precautionary measures.
She said that global warming, deforestation and unprecedented weather change have badly affected our climate; therefore, heat-wave had claimed lives of several hundreds of people previous year in Karachi. She said that children and elderly people are more vulnerable to this kind of situation so preventive measures are necessary to save them from expected heat-wave like situation. Dr Seemin informed that tiredness, water scarcity in body, weakness, vomiting and breath disorder are some common symptoms which may lead a person towards heat-stroke. She advised the citizen to avoid unnecessary exposure in sun, cover their heads if necessary to go outside, increase water intake, and abstain from taking tea, coffee and cold-drinks to avoid heat-stroke.
She informed that two separate wards have already been established in her hospital in or deal heatstroke patients. She said doctors, paramedics, nurses and medicines are available to treat heat-stroke patients. She said her institution has arranged 100 extra beds to provide treatment facilities to heat-stroke patients on urgent basis.