KABUL (Pajhwok): Physicians have asked people to use masks while going out of their homes as pneumonia cases have significantly increased recently. The doctors also urged families to take their ill family members, especially children, to hospital quickly.
Public Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Sharafat Zaman told Pajhwok Afghan News that 901,000 pneumonia cases were registered in 2020 and 1,748 patients died from the infection.
In 2021, more than 944,000 positive pneumonia cases were registered, when 1,995 patients died.
In the 11 months of 2022, over 960,000 people contracted pneumonia, with 1,795 people losing their battle for life.
Pneumonia cases have increased over recent years and with the onset of winter, pneumonia cases may surge, Dr. Zaman added.
He linked the spike in pneumonia cases to growing measles cases and cold weather and said elders had no exception from this disease.
He said individuals who suffered from tuberculosis in the past and smokers were more vulnerable to the lungs infection.
He asked people to keep themselves warm and wear mask while going out of their homes.
Prof. Dr. Mohammad Arif Hassanzai, internal diseases section in-charge at Andria Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul, said pneumonia was a virus that enters human body through respiratory system and this disease grows more during winter season.
He said there were different categories of pneumonia among children from a normal pneumonia to a severe one with severe flue.
He said up to 12 children had died from pneumonia at Andria Gandhi Hospital and the reason behind their deaths was their late delivery to the hospital.
He stressed on administration of vaccine to children and asked mothers to breastfeed their children for up to 2.5 years.
He also asked families to take their children immediately to hospital if they were in bad condition.
Dr. Ezzatullah, head of the Ibni Sena Chest Hospital, said that young and old age people both could contract pneumonia and individuals’ body immunity system was different according to their age.
He added the only reason behind growing pneumonia cases was air pollution and smoke. “Due to deteriorated economic situation, people use materials as fuel that pollute the air and causes several diseases”.
The doctor said patients arriving at their hospital mostly had chronic respiratory problems, severe coughs, and their body’s oxygen was reduced and therefore they were hospitalized
Bibi Amina, who brought her one-year-old child to the hospital for treatment, said: “My child’s condition is not good she has a high fever.”
Another mother from Ghorband district of Parwan province said her two-year-old daughter was discharged from the hospital after one week treatment but she fell sick again and now she was under treatment again.
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