Sindh health dept rapped for inadequate heatwave response plan

10:00 AM, 2 Jul, 2024
Sindh health dept rapped for inadequate heatwave response plan

KARACHI: The Sindh health department has come under fire for failing to develop a comprehensive plan to address the emergency situation caused by heatwaves in the province.
Currently, heatwave and heatstroke cases are being handled by the emergency departments of major hospitals instead of the designated heatstroke wards established in these facilities. 
Recently, 212 heat victims were reported across Karachi in a day. Of these, 205 have recovered, 73 are still undergoing treatment, and 7 deaths have been reported.
Despite the urgency, the provincial health department has primarily issued directives and high alerts to hospital heads and district health officers (DHOs). Last month, these officers were instructed to take precautions against the recent heatwave conditions in the province.
To ensure public safety, all hospitals and health facilities have been advised to remain on 24-hour alert. Staff leaves have been suspended until the heat conditions improve, and medical and paramedical staff numbers are to be increased as needed.
According to the guidelines, ambulances equipped with drips, cannulas, ORS, and dedicated staff should be stationed at public places to provide first aid and transport heatwave-affected patients to the nearest hospitals.
They were also directed to ensure the supply of essential medicines in hospitals, establishing special wards for potential heatwave patients with air conditioners, ice, generators, and drinking water. 
The department has recommended organizing seminars to raise public awareness about heatwaves and their dangers.