Two-year-old Ritima Chand of Mahendranagar receiving treatment for dengue at Nisarga Hospital in Dhangadhi. Photo: Republica
DHANGADHI, Sept 22: Dhaniram Sadgawa Chaudhary, 39, of Sadhepani in Ghodaghodi Municipality-2 is receiving treatment for dengue at Nisarga Hospital in Dhangadhi.
Some six other patients with various other ailments are under treatment in the same ward. The hospital officials haven't taken any extra measures to keep Chuadhari separate from the others.
Two-year-old Ritima Chand of Mahendranagar Kanchanpur is also receiving treatment for dengue in the midst of other patients, at Maya Metro Hospital. There are no mosquito nets there either.
There are other such instances of dengue treatment in this far-western town.
Patients, their attendants and the general public have accused hospital managements of negligence in not even using mosquito net let alone making other arrangements to prevent dengue from spreading to other hospital patients.
Dengue is transmitted from one person to another by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
“We are greatly worried that the dengue might spread to us as patients are treated openly,” Sher Bahadur Chaudhary, who is attending to one patient, told Republica. “Both other patients and attendants like us might be infected by dengue if some measures aren't taken to isolate the dengue cases.”
Experts also said treating dengue cases openly among other patients was a mistake.
“Dengue patients should be covered with mosquito nets,” said Narendra Karki, chief of health division under the Ministry of Social Development in Sudur Paschim Province. “One mosquito can spread dengue among up to 100 others from a single infected person.”
Dr Shuvesh Raj Kayastha also stressed the need for extra caution with dengue cases. “Such patients should be kept in a separate room,” he said.
Though the government has announced free treatment for dengue and scrub typhus, patients in the district have to spend huge amounts in private hospitals.
“I have been in this hospital since Monday and I've already spent Rs 15,000. I don't know how much more they are going to charge,” said Dhaniram Chaudhary, a patient at Nisarga Hospital.
Ramesh Chaudhary of Sadhepani in Ghodaghodi Municipality-2 was treated at Maya Metro Hospital and has now fully recuperated. He said he had to spend Rs 42,000. “That was all the money I earned in a year working as a laborer in India,” he said.
Kamala Chand, who has been at Maya Metro for the last two days for treating her two-year-old son Ritima, said she has already spent Rs 20,000. She has yet to pay for the bed and other charges.
Hospital officials said five to six new dengue patients a day come to the hospital.
Unaware of free treatment
Seti Provincial Hospital and other government health facilities provide free treatment for dengue, scrub typhus and sickle cell disease. However, even poor people have been spending huge amounts for the treatment as the authorities concerned have failed to make the general public aware about the availability of free treatment.
“I didn't know free treatment was available. Doctors at the clinic told me that dengue is very dangerous and suggested I go to a private hospital,” said Chaudhary at Nisarga Hospital. “I borrowed money to come here."
Kamala with her daughter at Maya Metro has a similar story.
Seti Provincial Hospital is equipped to treat dengue. But the number of dengue patients arriving here is very low.
According to Dilip Kumar Shrestha of the medical ward, only two dengue cases have arrived there for treatment.
Information Officer Hemraj Khadka of the Social Development Ministry, however, claimed that people aren't visiting government hospitals despite a publicity campaign.
3 died of dengue, scrub typhus, 198 others infected
At least three people have succumbed to dengue and scrub typhus and another 198 have been infected in Sudur Paschim Province. One died of dengue and scrub typhus killed the other two.
Of the nine districts in the province, people in eight districts have been infected so far. Only Bajura district has remained untouched so far. Altogether 54 have been infected by dengue.
Altogether 144 people in the province have been infected by scrub typhus. Only Achham and Bajura have remained unaffected.