Karachi, May 15 – Numerous cases of acute kidney injury (AKI) caused by heatstroke, acute water diarrhoea and gastroenteritis have been reported from all over Pakistan, especially the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, due to extremely hot weather.
Officials said the mercury shot as high as 51 degrees Celsius in Jacobabad, Sindh, on Saturday, while the heat battered other areas in the province, reports The News.
Unconfirmed reports suggest at least three people died of acute water diarrhoea in Sindh’s remote Kachho area as the temperature rose to 49 degrees.
Residents said prolonged drought and unavailability of clean drinking water left no choice for the people except for consuming the comtaminated water from ponds to kill the heat.
Director Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), Rahim Bux Bhatti said patients of AKI, acute gastroenteritis and other symptoms of heatstroke due to prolonged exposure to sun are being brought to their heatstroke camp.
“The entire area is in the grip of an intense heatwave for the last few days,” he said while speaking to The News.
Director General Health, Sindh, Jumman Bahoto, said there were some “confirmed” reports of deaths and sickness due to heat stroke and water borne diseases in some cities and towns of the province, which were experiencing an intense heatwave these days, adding that he had directed all the District Health Officers (DHOs) to collect data as well as establish heat stroke camps in their jurisdiction.
As daytime temperatures became unbearable in many cities of Punjab, health authorities said many traffic wardens and common people who remained exposed to sunlight in Lahore had acute kidney injury due to dehydration.
They were taken to different city health facilities, including Jinnah Hospital Lahore for treatment, The News reported.
“Dozens of people, especially traffic wardens in Lahore, fainted due to dehydration over long exposure to sunlight in the intense heat and they were shifted to different hospitals. We have decided to distribute umbrellas and awareness pamphlets among people in Lahore to prevent them from permanent disability and death due to heatstroke,” eminent physician and Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore Prof. Javed Akram said.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, also warned of an increase in the cases of heatstroke and water-borne diseases due to extremely high temperatures in different parts of the country, saying heatstroke is a medical emergency and proves fatal if not managed properly.