- SANJU PAUDEL, RUPANDEHI
The western Tarai is under the grip of a hot and dry weather, with hot air blowing in from the Indo-Gangetic plains of north India and Pakistan troubling people.
A condition people liken to a heat wave has increased the number of residents seeking treatment for seasonal flu, diarrhoea, typhoid, headache, and food poisoning at various hospitals.
According to the Lumbini Provincial Hospital, around 600 to 700 patients seek medical care every day, up from the usual 200 to 300 patients per day. According to health workers, the provincial hospital has only 28 beds in the emergency ward and that they are compelled to make temporary beds on the hospital floor to accommodate the patients.
Babita Bajimaya, in charge of the Emergency ward, said the hospital has been receiving patients from Kapilvastu, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi and Pyuthan, among other districts. She said, “The heat is unbearable during the day and we haven’t been able to provide proper care to patients here.”
Dr Sudarshan Thapa of the Lumbini Provincial Hospital said that the hot weather has increased the risk of various diseases like severe dysentery, dengue and malaria, along with an increase in the number of casualties from snake bites.Hospitals like Butwal, Tilottama, Meditech and Crimson in Rupandehi district, along with health facilities and many private clinics, have reported an influx of patients since mid-March.
“The risk of communicable diseases spreading is high due to the hot weather,” said Thapa, advising people to maintain hygienic food habits and proper sanitation. The maximum temperature in Bhairahawa was recorded 38 degrees Centigrade on Thursday afternoon.