Pakistan witnesses alarming spike in malaria cases

Pakistan malaria cases

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is grappling with a surge in malaria with 46,671 cases reported across the country within one week.

The ministry of health said that, in addition to the malaria outbreak, the country confronted other health crises, including over 0.1 million cases of cholera, more than 3,000 instances of typhoid, and 1,470 reported cases of dog bites.

Moreover, a large number of 20,638 cases of Acute Lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI) were reported in young children during the same week, underscoring the impact on pediatric health.

Further statistics from the health ministry painted a bleak picture of health challenges, encompassing 497 cases of measles, 163 cases of chickenpox, 217 instances of whooping cough, 56 cases of dengue fever, 15 meningitis cases, 11 diphtheria cases, 4 cases of rubella, and two cases of HIV-AIDS.

Additionally, 4,837 cases of hepatitis B and C, and 713 cases of hepatitis A and E were recorded.

Punjab is already grappling with the spike in pneumonia cases. The latest data indicated that an additional 12 infected patients succumbed to pneumonia across the province, bringing the monthly death toll to 194.

Within 24 hours, Lahore reported two fatalities and 491 new cases, contributing to the overall toll of 9,321 pneumonia cases in Punjab this year, with Lahore alone registering 1,546 cases and 45 fatalities.

Prompted by the escalating pneumonia crisis, Caretaker Punjab Health Minister Dr Jamal Nasir had earlier issued mandatory vaccination for children from January 11.

Dr Nasir had emphasized the importance of recognizing pneumonia symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, cough, cold, and fever, urging preventive measures and advising parents to ensure their children wear warm clothing and avoid exposure to the cold.

Access to diagnostic and treatment facilities for pneumonia remains available free of charge in the province.

Dr Jamal Nasir had said that difficulty in breathing, cough, cold, and fever were symptoms of pneumonia. He had urged citizens to take precautionary measures to protect children from pneumonia. He had advised parents to ensure that children wear warm clothing and avoid going outside in the cold.

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