LANDIKOTAL: Hundreds of children in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber tribal district are suffering from pneumonia due to the recent wave of severe cold weather in the area.

Medical Superintendent (MS) of District Headquarters Hospital Landikotal Dr NeK Dad Afridi said while talking to TNN that a large number of pneumonia cases have emerged in Landikotal during the last two weeks due to extreme cold weather. He said the whole Khyber district witnesses prolonged power outages and same is the situation in DHQ Hospital Landikotal. He said the situation of electricity is very poor in the hospital and they cannot admit pneumonia affected children as they cannot keep the wards warm. He said the condition of the affected children may worsen if they are not provided proper warm atmosphere.

Dr Nek Dad said it is a matter of disappointment for him that pneumonia affected children brought to hospital are referred to Peshawar for proper treatment. He appealed to the people to take special care of their children during winter and keep the rooms warm to protect them from diseases. He said the children must be kept in warm clothes and they must not be allowed to go outside rooms. He said in case a child is affected by pneumonia, injections for the disease must be administered immediately.

In an earlier interview with TNN, the MS stated that power supply is not disconnected to hospitals in any part of the world, but in Landikotal Hospital, power supply remains disconnected at crucial times. He said the hospital has to pay Rs80 million in the head of power bills. He said there are only two ambulances in the hospital which need to be increased to at least 15. He said 600 staff is needed, while the current strength is 188 only.

Dr Nek Dad said over a thousand patents daily visit the out-patient department (OPD), therefore, upgradation is required to resolve problems of the hospital. He said that 10 operation theatres are needed at the hospital, while presently there are only two. He said anaesthesia specialists are only two, while the hospital needs 10. He said Landikotal hospital will upgrade from 112-bed to 450-bed hospital if it gets Category-A. He said increased budget of the hospital will benefit the local patients.