On Tuesday morning, seven-year-old Anas Haluwai, from Bahadurgunj, Krishnanagar Municipality, was taken to Shivaraj Hospital in Kapilvastu after suffering from severe diarrhea. But there were no beds available. Her uncle, Jibrayim Haluwai, had to bring a bed from home to facilitate Anas’ treatment at the hospital.
Shivaraj Hospital has been filled beyond capacity since Monday evening, after residents of wards 7, 8 and 9 of Krishnanagar Municipality started coming to the hospital with complaints of severe diarrhea.
Doctors at the hospital suspect an outbreak of diarrhea in the area, as more than 300 patients have registered at the hospital since Monday.
âAs of Wednesday evening, 305 cases of diarrhea have been reported at the hospital,â said Rabi Upadhayay, head of the hospital’s emergency unit.
The 15-bed hospital is overwhelmed by the growing number of diarrheal patients requiring hospitalization. According to the hospital administration, it has received 20 times more patients than its capacity with health workers forced to treat patients on the floor due to a lack of beds.
âUp to three patients receive treatment in a single bed,â Upadhayay said.
More than 35 patients are undergoing treatment in the open air, according to health workers at Shivaraj Hospital.
Ten family members in Bahadurgunj, Krishnanagar municipality, have fallen ill with severe diarrhea since Monday.
âFour of my family members were admitted to the hospital for treatment. Rest recovers at home. We did not consume anything harmful. I don’t know how the whole village got sick at the same time, âsaid Bittar Dhobi, whose whole family fell ill from diarrhea.
Currently, 165 patients are undergoing treatment at Shivaraj Hospital.
As of Wednesday evening, 105 had been discharged, according to data from the hospital administration.
“We are facing a shortage of human resources and medical equipment,” said Dr Mukesh Chaudhary, acting medical director of the hospital. âWe have installed 15 additional beds in a tent to accommodate the growing number of patients with diarrhea. ”
However, the number of patients has increased and the situation has become critical, Chaudhary warned.
One hundred and five patients were sent home after treatment at a health camp set up at Mahendra Elementary School on Wednesday. No fewer than 35 critically ill patients were referred Tuesday and Wednesday to well-equipped hospitals in Taulihawa, the district headquarters of Kapilvastu, Bhairahawa and Butwal.
Patients say they do not know the cause of the outbreak of diarrhea in the local unit.
âI am a chronic patient with diabetes and I take care of my diet. But I don’t know how my daughter and I got sick. We are both receiving treatment at Shivaraj Hospital. We feel better now, but we still have bouts of vomiting, âsaid Bhim Bahadur Chhetri from Bahadurgunj.
Most of the patients suffer from diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting and infirmities. âThe symptoms are similar to those of Kala-azar. But that can’t be determined without a lab test, âsaid Hemraj Pandey, head of the district health office.
According to him, samples from five patients from different parts of Krishnanagar were sent to Butwal for laboratory testing.
Pandey said separate health teams from Krishnanagar Municipality, Kapilvastu Hospital and the Provincial Health Directorate have been deployed to the affected areas to provide treatment.
âWe have deployed enough health workers to the affected area to contain the disease. We are focusing our efforts on providing timely treatment to patients, âhe said.
The epidemic, which is spreading to other areas of the municipality, is a serious health problem, said the mayor of Krishnanagar, Rajat Pratap Sah.
âWe have been informed that some people in Krishnanagar, Purushottampur and Shivanagar have also fallen ill,â Sah said.
According to health workers deployed in the region, most of those affected are children between the ages of five and eleven and the elderly.
Health workers suspect the disease has spread through contaminated drinking water. Most of the patients, health workers say, come from places where the Drinking Water Corporation of Bahadurgunj recently extended the pipes to provide drinking water.
Meanwhile, some health workers at Shivaraj hospital have also fallen ill with diarrhea, the hospital administration said.