Dengue patients overloaded government hospitals in the capital

Health experts observed the present status: Patients suffer amid bed, staff shortage; Hospitals treating patients on floor, balconies; Hospital dengue wards hosting two to three times their capacity.

As the dengue cases surge, government hospitals in the capital are facing shortage of beds and staff to provide adequate care for patients.

As all the beds in their respective wards have been filled with patients infected by the mosquito-borne disease, the hospitals including Mugda Medical College Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Matuail Institute of Child and Mother Health, and Bangladesh Children’s Hospital and Institute are treating patients on the floor.

Doctors at the hospitals mentioned the hospitals are under tremendous pressure as a result of the growing number of dengue patients due to the lack of adequate doctors and other health staff. There are patients in every nook and cranny of the hospitals. Not only the floors of the hospitals, but the hospitals’ balconies are now full of patients.

Mugda Hospital witnessed doubling of patients recently, which handles the highest number of patients among the government hospitals in Dhaka.

The acting director of Mugda Medical College Hospital, Niatuzzaman, said, “We are now admitting patients based on condition that we will not provide them with any bed. With only five doctors available, we do not have the manpower necessary to treat dengue patients.” Currently, the hospitals are admitting two types of dengue patients: those with “classic dengue syndrome” and those with “complicated dengue syndrome.  He highlighted the strain on the hospital’s pathology department as the number of tests has increased significantly.

The latter group, comprising patients who have had dengue multiple times, constitutes a considerable portion of the hospitalized cases. The Directorate General of Health Services designated the capital’s Mohakhali DNCC hospital as a dengue-dedicated hospital that has led to an increase in the number of patients there, as the dengue outbreak continues to worsen.

Mitford Hospital that has a dedicated dengue unit, is witnessing a significant increase in dengue patients, forcing patients to stay on the floor for treatment.

Brigadier General Kazi Md Rashid-Un-Nabi, the director of Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, said, “Patients are experiencing difficulties as the hospital caters to patients with various medical conditions.”

Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s (DMCH) new building houses two dengue units, both of which are three times over capacity.  Despite the mounting pressure, no separate unit or ward has been established yet for the dengue patients, and they are being treated alongside other patients.

Matuail Institute of Child and Mother Health has limited its surgical ward to treating dengue patients exclusively by transferring beds from other wards. The situation is not any better outside Dhaka, as many district and upazila hospitals are unable to test patients due to a lack of dengue test kits.

The shortage of doctors and beds is leading many hospitals to turn away patients seeking dengue treatment. Bangladsh is experiencing a deadly outbreak of dengue this year with 215 deaths recorded by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Bangladesh logged 281 dengue deaths in 2022, the highest on record after 179 deaths recorded in 2019. Also, it recorded 62,423 dengue cases and 61,971 recoveries last year. In addition, DGHS has recorded 40,341 dengue cases, 31,937 recoveries as of Wednesday July 27, 2023.



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