ACHHAM, June 24 - More than 20 percent of the population (50,000 plus) in Achham district have been taken ill due to the heat wave, officials at the District Public Health Office (DPHO) said.
In the past one week, district-based hospitals and health centres have been overwhelmed by people with various health complaints caused by the torrid weather.
More than 50,000 people throughout the district are suffering from various illnesses such as diarrhoea, dysentery, high fever and typhoid, said Dr. Purushottam Raj Sodaya, the DPHO chief. “Hospitals and health centres across the district are packed with patients and their numbers are increasing by the day.”
The district hospital alone has been receiving at least 500 patients on a daily basis. Considering the number of sick people, hospitals and health centres in the district are providing 24-hour service. But the number of incoming patients continues to baffle health officials.
“They just keep on coming. Hospitals and health centres have run out of beds. Many people are being kept on the verandas and wherever there is open space,” said Sodaya. “So far we have not experienced any problem in terms of medicine supply as we had kept stock, but if the situation persists we cannot say anything.”
Achham is a remote hill district in the Far-West region of the country with a population of around 250,000 and an average temperature of 35 Celsius. However, this year on, the temperature has shot up to a record high of up to 41 Celsius.
Excessive heat and extended dry spell for the past couple of weeks have already destroyed more than 50 percent of the district's crops, bringing in a number of other food and health related problems and rendering the residents of the district vulnerable.