No room for dengue patients | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:46 AM, August 23, 2019

No room for dengue patients

Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital struggling to keep up

Dengue patients are facing acute shortage of beds at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) in Barishal.

Over fifty patients had been admitted in the last 24 hours till Wednesday, as per hospital sources.

Some 15 patients of the hospital said on Wednesday that they took treatment for dengue fever two or three days ago from the hospital, but had to return as their blood platelet count decreased again.

Doctors of medicine and paediatric wards have to work at least fifteen hours at a stretch to manage the rush of dengue patients every day. Most patients were coming from remote areas, hospital sources said.

Due to a crisis of space, most patients ere forced to stay on the floor outside wards, on the balcony or walkways. Both male and female patients were seen on the spaces during a recent visit.

Dengue-affected patients are often unable to hang mosquito nets there, even though the nets are essential for patients’ well-being.

Children are facing the worst crisis for room and beds. Many children are staying on the walkway and next to the balcony, where they are exposed to the sun and rain.

On top of being overcrowded, the temperature inside the hospital is quite high, and there are no fans outside the wards. Attendants were seen fanning the patients with hand-fans.

“I didn’t find any doctors in the last couple of days,” said dengue patient Rafiqul Islam, who was in the medicine ward on Wednesday.

“I have been on the floor for the last three days with my little child, who has dengue. I can’t breastfeed him in this open space,” said Rajia Akther.

An attendant of the medicine ward mentioned that the toilets are in abysmal condition as well.

The 1,000-bed specialised hospital had 147 dengue patients out of 1,890 inpatients on Wednesday. Of them, 94 were male, 27 female, and 26 children, according to hospital sources.

“We cannot find even a little space for the patients, let alone beds. It has become very difficult for us to provide treatment smoothly to the patients lying on the floor,” said Md Sulaiman Kabir, registrar of the hospital’s medicine ward.

“Some patients have left the hospital without completing their treatment, ignoring our advice. Later they are getting re-admitted when their platelets decreased,” he added.

“We have no scope of increasing space inside the wards but we are working hard to provide the best service to patients,” said Md Bakir Hossain, the director of SBMCH.

“We have opened a separate dengue ward but it cannot accommodate the increasing number of patients,” he told this newspaper, adding that he feels agony seeing patients on the floor.

Most dengue patients don’t follow instructions by doctors after leaving the hospital, and their recovery is hindered as a result, he added.

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