More than 1.4 million cases of various diseases, including widespread instances of gastrointestinal infections and scabies, were reported in 51 districts of the country in May this year, according to a report released by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Sunday.
The total number of gastrointestinal infections and scabies cases reported was 437,515 and 211,320, respectively, the highest recorded this year. Like previous months, health offices in Punjab reported more cases mainly because of higher population and greater outreach. According to the report, diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and scabies can be controlled through proper hygiene and sanitation, but the ground reality is quite different.
Out of the total 119 districts in the country, the official record of these 51 districts accounts for only 43 percent of the health offices nationwide. “Therefore, the overall number of cases in the country is expected to be much higher. Furthermore, this data is gathered only from the state-run health facilities; the scale of the cases treated in private hospitals is not a part of this analysis,” the report said.
According to the report, acute respiratory infections (ARIs) were the most commonly reported diseases – 739,607 cases – followed by 374,979 cases of diarrhoea and dysentery. As many as 62,536 cases of gastroenteritis were reported, making it the fourth most commonly reported disease. Fifth on the list were 8,319 cases of dog bite.
The report said Gujranwala district topped the list, as it accounted for nine percent of the total recorded cases. Sahiwal reported the highest number of maternal, infant and child mortality cases where six cases of maternal, 159 of infant and 134 of child mortality had been reported. The month witnessed the lowest number of confirmed new cases of tuberculosis – 663 – since November 2010. These cases were reported in nine districts nationwide.
Punjab remained the most TB-concentrated region as 66 percent of the total cases were reported in Gujranwala district. The report has been compiled after collecting data from 22 health offices of Punjab, 12 in Sindh, eight in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and six in Balochistan, while the office of the Agency Surgeon Health in FATA and the Health Management Information System (HMIS) in the Islamabad Capital Territory also shared the information.
Disease Reported cases
Acute respiratory infections 739,607
Gastrointestinal infections 437,515