Pneumonia scare grips Punjab



Data collection of pneumonia patients has been started in Punjab and the chief executive officers of the district health authorities have been directed to take immediate steps this regard.

Provincial Caretaker Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Dr Jamal Nasir told the media on Thursday that sample collection had also been started in view of complaints regarding fake pneumonia medicines, he added.

He said immunisation of children included the pneumonia vaccine. He called upon the parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from pneumonia.

Expressing concern over deaths of children after contracting pneumonia, he said immunisation had to be completed for ensuring the health and safety of the kids.

D Nasir said pneumonia diagnosis and treatment facilities were available free of charge in all government hospitals in Punjab.

He said that preventive measures should be adopted to protect children from the disease.

He urged parents to dress their young children in warm clothes and not let them go out in the cold weather.


CT scan outsourcing

Punjab Health Secretary Ali Jan Khan signed an agreement for outsourcing the CT scan services in tertiary care government hospitals.

He said on the occasion that a firm would provide CT scan facilities to patients in government teaching hospitals round the clock under the agreement.

The firm will also be responsible for the maintenance of CT scan machines in the hospitals.

In response to the surge in pneumonia cases in Punjab, the caretaker provincial government has declared a 7-day hiatus for nursery and playgroup classes up to class one. Additionally, morning assemblies have been prohibited in schools across Punjab until January 31.

The prevalence of viral pneumonia is on the rise, particularly among children, attributed to the increasing cold weather.

It is noteworthy that the 22-day winter break in Punjab, including Lahore, has concluded, and educational activities have resumed in all public and private schools from today.

Health experts have warned that the continued presence of thick smog across Punjab has become a real threat to citizens’ health as the air pollution rate is increasing at an alarming rate and thereby, also causing various diseases such as chest infection and pneumonia.

The doctor advised that pneumonia is undoubtedly a risky respiratory health infection which can become a big problem when air pollution levels increase. Citizens should stay indoors during foggy weather as the risk of pneumonia and other severe respiratory problems is doubled during this period, which also increases the risk of mortality.

The expert also suggested plenty of rest, warm beverages, steam baths or the use of humidifiers in houses to ensure moisture in the air and timely consultations with doctors.

Pneumonia symptoms start off as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Not only are adults susceptible to pneumonia, but children and the elderly can also be affected.

A spokesman for the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department said they did not released any data of deaths due to Pneumonia and following government institutions from today (Friday) they will start collecting data in connection with Pneumonia.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2024.


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