KARACHI: Child specialist warned against possible outbreak of pre-monsoon as well as post rainy season malaria and gastroenteritis among children in the city. Prof. Ayesha Mehnaz, Head of Pediatrics Department, Civil Hospital, Karachi told Pakistan Times that she was seriously apprehensive about post-monsoon dengue fever caused due to uncovered stock of fresh water.
“Dengue fever remains yet to be eliminated and this is the time that people are motivated to prevent the ailment caused by the peculiar Aedes Egypti Mosquito,” she highlighted. The child specialist said:
>>”People must ensure regular use of water stored by them in tanks and containers, refill these on short intervals and also to keep these properly covered.”
About gastroenteritis, the child specialist said children were already reaching hospitals with the condition; however, acceleration is expected following and also during the fast approaching monsoon. She said:
>> “I will strongly suggest that every house hold in city must ensure proper boiling of water consumed by them and children”
She expressed her strong reservations about quality of bottled water available in the country. “There are just one to two brands that could be considered of quality; otherwise most of them have been identified to be of questionable quality,” she said.
She said parents must ensure that neither they nor their children consume food on sale at road side stalls and push-carts with little consideration towards cleanliness. “Even sliced fruits and juices available at these stalls are hazardous,” warned the doctor.
As for malaria, she said this is round the year phenomenon although its intensity may vary from season to season. “However, showers leaving stagnant pools of murky water a common sight in almost every locality provide safe breeding points to mosquitoes that cause malaria,” she elaborated.
Prof. Ayesha Mehnaz said children due to their poor immunity are the worst victims of malaria. “Most alarming is the trend to over treat the condition by many of our doctors causing resistance against anti-malarial drugs among the children,” she said.
As the basic preemptive step, she suggested that rain water must be drained out on immediate and regular basis so that they may not provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. “Where drainage of rain water, by citizens in their individual capacities, may not be possible they must ensure sprinkling of kerosene oil or even discarded mobil oil to avoid breeding spots for mosquitoes,” she added.