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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pakistan : Dengue grossly underreported

Via The Express Tribune :

" KARACHI: Dengue is not just spreading fast in Sindh but there is a gross discrepancy between government and private hospital statistics.

An indication of the spread is that up to eight patients a day are being administered mega platelets to counter the virus at the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD). NIBD consultant haematologist Dr Tahir Shamsi says one mega platelet bag is given per patient per day and so far this season, a total of about 200 bags have been transfused. Last year, the number for NIBD was about 100 bags.

There is a disconnect, however, between this information and that which the government is giving. The government claims that seven (compared to the 200 of NIBD) mega platelets – four in government hospitals and three in private hospitals – have been used this season. Each bag of mega platelets costs up to Rs11,000 which the patient or their family has to cough up. The discrepancy can perhaps be accounted for by the lack of information sharing between the government and private hospitals.

It is likely that the need for platelets will either remain steady or go up. The number of dengue cases has risen to 506 (not including cases at relief camps) of which 339 have tested positive and four people have died, said ministry focal person and the Additional medical superintendent of Civil hospital, Dr Shakeel Aamir Mullick."

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