Fifth year medical student Sujit Hossain recovered from dengue just about a month ago.
The student of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital saw how much the patients suffered and how doctors and caregivers struggled to cope with the huge number of dengue patients.
These motivated him to do something for the dengue patients. So since Saturday, he has been spending two to three hours every day at the hospital, lending a hand to the interns and doctors.
Like him, around 50 of his classmates at the medical college have been assisting the healthcare personnel at the hospital since last month.
The hospital authorities are allowing them to assist the doctors in checking the blood pressure, pulse and temperature of dengue patients.
“It took me around a month to be fit and start volunteering,” said Sujit.
Every day, he spends around seven hours at the college and makes time for the voluntary services after evening.
Another student, Abu Ryhan said, “Many of the patients are unwilling to remain under mosquito nets. We motivate them to use the nets at all times.”
The students also provide mental support to the patients and help lab technicians with the tests essential for dengue diagnosis, he added.
They also help out the patients who do not have anyone to take their blood samples to the lab or receive their test reports from labs, he said.
“I feel content when I help with the crisis. Usually, the authorities do not allow medical students [to do these] before their internship.”
The hospital authorities have dedicated two wards with 200 beds each for dengue patients. The management also dedicated more healthcare personnel at the wards to handle the rush of patients.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 1,626 dengue patients had been admitted to different hospitals across the country in the 24 hours since 8:00am on Tuesday.
At least 57,995 people have taken treatment at hospitals with dengue this year.
Prof Dr Uttam Kumar Barua, director of Suhrawady Medical College Hospital, said he requested the college authorities to let 5th year students to help with the tasks at the hospitals.
At the Mugda Medical College and Hospital, around 50 other 5th year students also gave similar voluntary services before Eid.
“But the services are not needed any longer because the pressure of dengue patients have fallen a little bit,” said the hospital Director Amin Ahmed Khan.
According to the DGHS, a total of 2,388 dengue patients have been admitted to the Suhrawady hospital. Of them, 344 are now undergoing treatment.
Khadija Aktar Nila, 27, a resident of Gendaria’s Dayaganj, died of dengue on Tuesday night at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
She had been suffering from the fever since Eid and was admitted to the DMCH on August 16, said a family member.
At least 107 people died of dengue this year. But the official number is only 47.