Degrading Environment, Unsafe Water Behind Gastro Spread: experts
KARACHI – Unsafe drinking water and the continuing degradation of environment, particularly in the suburbs of urban areas, is increasingly putting the children at risk to gastrointestinal diseases.This was noted by paediatricians and health experts during a one-day health clinic organised in Surjani Town by the Rural Supporting and Development Society (RSDS) – a non-governmental organisation. Indigestion, heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal bleeding, acidity and abdominal pain were some of the most common problems observed in the families of which the children were treated at the day-long camp.
“Gastrointestinal disorders are directly linked to drinking and eating. The quality of food the children consume as well as the quality of water they drink, determine their health,” said former Pakistan Medical Association general secretary Dr Habib-ur-Rehman. “It is unfortunate that neither of them [quality food or water] is available and affordable to children in Karachi particularly those living in suburbs or low-income areas and that continue to keep them at risk of gastrointestinal disorders. This is the reason that we now see so many children with gastrointestinal problems,” he added. Senior consultant Dr Shams Gopang said the increase in pollution Karachi is another cause for the increase in gastrointestinal diseases among children in the city.
“The rise in transportation and industries has put tremendous pressure on the environment in the city and if we monitor the quality of air the children breathe and inhale; it is no surprise that such problems are spreading fast.” Gopang said that very little has been invested to improve the quality of environment in the city and no doubt that the citizens are paying the price in terms of poor health and more diseases.
Pakistan Today: June 2011