Regional News

Director Health urges KWSB to ensure chlorination of water to prevent Naegleria Fowleri

14

MN Report

KARACHI- Director Health Karachi Dr Zafar Ejaz has recently stated that; Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) management should ensure chlorination of water supplied in city to prevent citizens from brain-eating naegleria fowleri disease in summer season.

Following the death of a young girl in a private hospital, after being infected by the brain-eating naegleria fowleri – Dr Zafar Ejaz said; A letter has been sent to Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) administration, requesting them to ensure proper chlorination of water. The peak season of naegleria has started in Karachi, which will continue till August. He further said; water samples were taken and sent to KWSB laboratory to ascertain the fact that whether the girl’s death occured due to naegleria fowleri or something else. 

He said this deadly viral creature lives in warm bodies of fresh water like; lakes, rivers and ponds. Poorly chlorinated water in swimming pools and water parks is prone to become infested with Naegleria fowleri, especially when the weather is warm.

Zafar Ejaz said; All Town Health Officers and Health Managers have also been directed to create awareness among the public, about Naegleria Fowleri, in order to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. He said naegleria fowleri can only invade a human body through the nose, during swimming or ablution and it attacks the human nervous system and brain. Mortality rate due to brain eating amoeba in Pakistan is very high. 

He suggested that; citizens must use boiled water during ablution (Wuzoo), at least to wash their nose. He also said that chlorination tablets are available in the market which should be used in underground water reservoirs at homes.

He also stressed the need to establish a functional Naegleria Committee in Karachi and also ensure proper chlorination of water supplied across the city to prevent this disease. 

It is pertinent to mention here that eighteen-year-old Areeba, a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, was recently admitted in a private hospital of Karachi, as she was infected with naegleria fowleri disease. Unfortunately, she died during treatment, last week.

Experts said chlorine is a highly efficient disinfectant and is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, that commonly grow in water supply reservoirs, walls of water mains and in domestic storage tanks.

May 5, 2015

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