Islamabad - The long dry spell in the country has caused an increase in diseases among children in federal capital, while the situation would prevail until winter downpour changes the weather, health officials said yessterday.

Talking to The Nation Dr Imtiaz from Polyclinic hospital said that dust in the air is causing various respiratory infections among people and especially in children.

“10 per cent OPD of children has been increased due to dry weather,” he said.

According to him, diseases like dust allergy, chest, throat infections and cough have been increased owing to dry weather.

“Children from age group of 6 to 14 are suffering more from infection,” he said.

Dr Imtiaz also said that smog in this region is different from Punjab province, as in the province, it was caused due to industrial pollution; however, this region is being affected mainly because of dust.

“Patients and children suffering from respiratory problems must wear masks and avoid the use of citric edibles to keep them safe from allergy,” the doctor said.

Meanwhile talking to The Nation, a doctor from Children Hospital Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said, hospital has seen surge in the number of patients suffering from seasonal diseases and children have been affected most.

“Dry winter affects people allergic to dust and construction activities also contribute in health issues when there is no rain,” said the doctor.

PIMS official told The Nation that due to dry weather, children are suffering from asthma while OPD in children hospital is receiving more patients from rural areas.

“Because the summer season was extended and till now days are warm so there are less complaints of being sick because of heaters,” said the doctor.

As per health experts a large number of people especially inhabiting alongside roads and markets of the twin cities are facing dust allergy problems.

Children are suffering from diseases of itchy eyes, chest infections and nose allergies; however, doctors said it is natural in this dry weather because children’s immune system is less effective than a young man.

According to health officials the need of cleanliness is increased in such kind of situations to evade infections.

Children must wear warm clothes when the temperature falls because they are reluctant to cover themselves after passing a warm day.

Bilal, a resident of Bara Kahu while talking to The Nation said that he brought his two children in PIMS for check up, as their fever increased after chest infection.

Doctors are advising parents to give masks to the children, regulate their diet and ensure cleanliness to prevent these seasonal diseases.

A large number of people with their children were seen in PIMS OPD with complaints of cough, flu, soar-throat, pneumonia and diarrhoea. 

The continued long dry spell has increased the seasonal ailments of the residents of the federal capital but, according to officials of government hospitals, OPDs are working properly to manage the increased rush of patients in common and paediatric OPDs.