Punjab Health authority issues alert as eye infection afflicts thousands

Punjab Health authority issues alert as eye infection afflicts thousands

In Lahore, the health authorities in Punjab have issued a round-the-clock alert to the medical superintendents of all government teaching hospitals. This alert aims to ensure continuous readiness for treating patients with eye infections, as a contagious eye ailment has been rapidly spreading throughout the province. In the past 24 hours alone, there have been reports of up to 20,000 patients affected.

Furthermore, the health department has taken immediate action by prohibiting the use of an injection in hospitals that has been linked to the eye disease outbreak. Additionally, guidelines have been issued to the public to help prevent eye infections.

The infection has been spreading at an alarming rate across Punjab, with estimates from health authorities suggesting that around 20,000 patients with eye diseases have sought treatment in both government and private hospitals.

This includes 500 cases in Mayo Hospital, 481 in Lahore General Hospital, 390 in Services Hospital, 180 in Children's Hospital, 300 in Ganga Ram Hospital, and 250 in Gulab Devi Hospital in Lahore. Private hospitals in Lahore have also seen an influx of around 6,000 patients with eye infections.

Health officials have reported that some patients who received a specific injection from a particular company experienced deteriorating health, including allegations of vision loss. As a result, the department has ordered hospitals to discontinue the use of this injection, with drug inspectors and pharmacists instructed to remove it from all healthcare facilities.

A five-member inquiry committee has been established to investigate the matter and provide a report. Meanwhile, hospitals have been directed to provide maximum facilities and care to affected patients. The inquiry committee, led by senior eye specialist Dr. Asad Aslam and including representatives from various hospitals, has been tasked with proposing practical solutions to prevent such incidents in the future.

In parallel, drug inspectors across Punjab have initiated inspections of injections in medical stores and sealed pharmacies found selling counterfeit products. While there have been complaints suggesting the use of expired injections as a possible cause of the problem, the findings of the inquiry committee will shed light on the matter.

The health authorities strongly recommend that patients with eye diseases visit government hospitals where eye specialists are on duty. Moreover, individuals are advised to maintain a safe distance from others to prevent the spread of the eye infection, especially as it can be transmitted through coughing and physical contact.

Frequent handwashing with sanitizers is also encouraged. Additionally, it's advised not to handle the used clothing and belongings of infected patients at home and to maintain a safe distance from them.