Hospitals in Krishnanagar Municipality overwhelmed with diarrhoea patientsMore than 300 patients have checked in to the 15-bed Shivaraj Hospital since Monday following diarrhoea outbreak in the local unit.
On Tuesday morning, seven-year-old Anas Haluwai of Bahadurgunj in Krishnanagar Municipality was taken to Shivaraj Hospital in Kapilvastu after suffering from severe diarrhoea. But there were no beds available. His uncle, Jibrayim Haluwai, had to bring a bed from home to facilitate Anas’s treatment at the hospital.
Shivaraj Hospital has been filled beyond capacity since Monday evening, after the residents of wards 7, 8 and 9 of Krishnanagar Municipality started coming to the hospital with complaints of severe diarrhoea.
Doctors at the hospital suspect a diarrhoea outbreak in the area, as more than 300 patients have checked in to the hospital since Monday.
“Until Wednesday evening, 305 cases of diarrhoea were reported at the hospital,” said Rabi Upadhayay, chief at the Emergency Unit of the hospital
The 15-bed hospital is overwhelmed by the surging number of diarrhoea patients in need of hospitalisation. According to the hospital administration, it has been receiving 20 times more patients than its capacity with health workers forced to treat patients on the floor due to bed shortage.
“Up to three patients are receiving treatment from a single bed,” said Upadhayay.
Over 35 patients are undergoing treatment in the open, say health workers at Shivaraj Hospital.
Ten members of a family in Bahadurgunj, Krishnanagar Municipality have taken ill from severe diarrhoea since Monday.
“Four of my family members have been admitted to the hospital for treatment. Rest are recuperating at home. We have not consumed anything harmful. I don’t know how the entire village has fallen ill at the same time,” said Bittar Dhobi, whose entire family has fallen ill with diarrhoea.
Currently, 165 patients are undergoing treatment at Shivaraj Hospital.
By Wednesday evening, 105 were discharged, the data of the hospital administration showed.
“We are facing a shortage of human resources and medical equipment,” said Dr Mukesh Chaudhary, acting medical superintendent of the hospital. “We have set up 15 more beds under a tent to accommodate the increasing number of diarrhoea patients.”
However, the number of patients has been increasing and the situation has become critical, Chaudhary warned.
One hundred and five patients were sent home following treatment from a health camp set up in Mahendra Basic School on Wednesday. As many as 35 critically ill patients were referred to well-facilitated hospitals in Taulihawa, the district headquarters of Kapilvastu, Bhairahawa and Butwal on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The patients say they are unaware of the cause behind the diarrhoea outbreak in the local unit.
“I am a chronic patient of diabetes and am careful about my food intake. But I don’t know how my daughter and I got sick. Both of us are receiving treatment at Shivaraj Hospital. We feel better now but we still have bouts of vomiting,” said Bhim Bahadur Chhetri of Bahadurgunj.
Most of the patients are suffering from diarrhoea, stomach ache, vomiting and infirmities. “The symptoms are similar to that of Kala-azar. But it cannot be ascertained without a laboratory test,” said Hemraj Pandey, chief at the District Health Office.
According to him, the samples of five patients from different parts of Krishnanagar have been sent to Butwal for a laboratory test.
Pandey said separate health teams from Krishnanagar Municipality, Kapilvastu Hospital and the Provincial Health Directorate have been deployed in the affected areas to provide treatment.
“We have deployed enough health workers in the affected area to contain the disease. We are concentrating our efforts to provide timely treatment to the patients,” he said.
The outbreak, which is spreading in other areas of the municipality, is a grave health issue, says Krishnanagar Mayor Rajat Pratap Sah.
“We have been informed that some people in Krishnanagar, Purushottampur and Shivanagar have also taken ill,” said Sah.
According to health workers deployed in the area, most of the affected people are children aged five to eleven and the elderly.
Health workers suspect that the disease might have spread through contaminated drinking water. Most of the patients, the health workers say, are from places where the Drinking Water Corporation in Bahadurgunj has recently extended pipelines to supply drinking water.
Meanwhile, some health workers at Shivaraj Hospital have also been taken ill with diarrhoea, the hospital administration said.