Pneumonia, viral fever stalk children in MuguFifty out of 70 people visiting the district hospital on a daily basis are children, health officials say.
The number of viral fever and pneumonia patients has been surging in several settlements in Mugu, a remote mountain district of Karnali Province, of late. Most of the fever and pneumonia patients are children, according to health workers.
“Many children have fallen ill across the district in the past few days. Almost all the children visiting the hospital are suffering from fever and pneumonia,” said Dr Dabal Malla at the Mugu District Hospital. According to him, children below five years have been affected the most.
“We are facing challenges in treatment, as the number of children falling ill is growing,” he said. “Continuous rainfall has brought a dip in temperature which could be the reason behind the rising number of fever and pneumonia patients.”
The district hospital and the local health posts are seeing a massive surge in fever and pneumonia cases. According to the district hospital administration, around 70 people have been visiting the health institution on a daily basis for the past few days.
“Around 50 of those seeking treatment are children. Fifteen children are admitted at the hospital at present,” said Malla.
According to health workers, most children visiting the hospital are found suffering from pneumonia, common cold, headache and bodyache. A five-month-old child died in the course of treatment at the hospital last week.
Cases of pneumonia and viral fever have been spreading in several settlements of Mugu.
“Children in almost every household are sick. Some young adults and senior citizens are also suffering from fever,” said Bachu Sunar of Kalai village in Soru Rural Municipality. She came to the district hospital four days ago for the treatment of her 10-month-old child suffering from pneumonia. “My child has been receiving treatment at the hospital for the past four days but we have seen no improvement so far,” said Sunar.
With the increase in the flow of patients, a shortage of medicine looms large in the district hospital.
“The stock of essential medicines is dwindling fast. The hospital will be without medicines within a week if the flow of patients does not stop,” said Sabitra Malla, an auxiliary nurse midwife at the district hospital.
According to Gyan Singh Budha, the acting health service manager, the district health office purchased essential medicines worth around Rs 500,000 last week keeping in view the increasing number of patients.
“Many children have fallen ill of viral fever and pneumonia this year. We haven’t seen such a large number of child patients in the past,” said Budha. He argued that the health situation could turn critical if schools run physical classes in the district.