1. Child pneumonia patients on the rise due to weather change
2. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five years of age in the country.
3. Around 50,000 children die of pneumonia every year in Bangladesh
4. Satkhira Sadar Hospital has 110 pneumonia patients against 26 beds in the children's ward
5. Physicians advise parents not to give antibiotics to children with fever
One-month-old baby Popy Mandal was diagnosed with pneumonia after her hospitalisation with a two-day fever. She started having seizures while under treatment. She is currently undergoing treatment at the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a private hospital in the capital.
A week ago, one-and-a-half-year-old Mithila was admitted to Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital with fever and shortness of breath for three days and was later diagnosed with pneumonia.
Children are getting sick due to a change of season. The number of children suffering from pneumonia is increasing in the children's wards of hospitals across the country including Dhaka.
Children aged between six months and three years are getting more infected with pneumonia. Doctors advise parents to be careful so that their children do not sweat in the hot weather and also not to give antibiotics if they catch pneumonia.
Professor Dr Iffat Ara Shamsad, head of the Child Department at Dhaka Medical College Hospital said, October-November is generally the season for pneumonia in children.
"However, this time the children are getting infected a little earlier. There are still more dengue patients among the children in hospitals. The incidence of pneumonia will increase further in the days to come," she said.
Dr Iffat Ara said pneumonia is a viral infection in which cleanliness is a must, alike other infections.
"Baby's breathing condition and the fever level should be checked. Antibiotics should not be given without a doctor's advice," she added.
An average of 200 children is receiving outdoor treatment at the hospital every day for cold, fever, and pneumonia.
Outbreaks of pneumonia have increased in several district headquarter hospitals outside Dhaka. Most hospitals have pneumonia patients beyond their capacity.
On Wednesday, there were 110 children admitted with pneumonia at the children's ward of Satkhira Sadar Hospital against the capacity of 26 beds.
Patients were receiving treatment lying on the floor due to a lack of beds. More than 600 pneumonia patients have received treatment at the hospital in the 22 days of September.
"On an average, 26 to 30 patients are being admitted every day with pneumonia. Satkhira has fewer dengue patients but more pneumonia patients," Dr Ashim Kumar Sarkar, medical officer at Satkhira Sadar Hospital, told The Business Standard.
"We think the pressure of pneumonia patients will continue until the first week of November. So far one child has died of pneumonia in our hospital."
Dr Shahnawaz, senior consultant at Adhunik Sadar Hospital in Thakurgaon told TBS, "The number of pneumonia patients in the children's ward of the hospital has increased a lot. The 45-bed children's ward now has 96 children with pneumonia.
He said children are having difficulty breathing due to hot weather during the day and cold at night. Children under the age of three are affected more. It is important to keep an eye on the children so that they do not sweat. Babies under the age of two need to be breastfed.
An average of 40 children is being admitted to Jhenaidah Sadar Hospital every day. There are currently 114 children admitted against its capacity of eight beds.
Dr Habibur Rahman, the acting civil surgeon in Bagerhat, told TBS, "The number of paediatric patients has increased due to the change of season. In the last month, 4,500 children have been admitted to Bagerhat Sadar Hospital with pneumonia and other cold-related diseases. At present, there are 45 pneumonia patients in the 24-bed children's ward of the hospital."
Every day, critically ill patients from Dhaka and other parts of the country are being admitted to Dhaka Shishu Hospital with pneumonia.
"The number of children admitted to the hospital with pneumonia is increasing," Professor Syed Shafi Ahmed, director at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, told TBS.
"People are going out more due to a decrease in coronavirus infections. Children are sweating more when walking outside in the heat. They are getting infected with pneumonia after sweating. So, we have to be careful about children."
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five years of age in the country.
According to icddr,b, pneumonia is responsible for around 28% of deaths among children under five years of age in Bangladesh and around 50,000 children die of pneumonia every year.