The burden of disease is on the rise in the Old City with a large number people suffering from lifestyle and infectious diseases, if the reporting pattern at government area hospitals and Gandhi and Osmania hospitals is any indication.

A comprehensive survey of hospital records shows that hernia in women is common along with thyroid related problems while the incidence of appendicitis in children has been showing a rising trend. Many women in the Old City are also reporting gynaecology-related problems like breast lumps, fibroids uterus, and ovarian cysts.

Helping Hand Foundation (HHF), a city-based NGO involved in providing medicare to the poor, carried out a survey of six area hospitals in the Old City, along with Gandhi, Osmania, Niloufer and MNJ Cancer hospitals. HHF volunteers went through the medical records of the outpatient departments to ascertain the burden of disease in Hyderabad.

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They found an increasing number of Old City patients are preferring government hospitals to private ones. In fact, records of area hospitals in Barkas, Shalibanda, King Kothi, Malakpet, Golconda and Nampally show that patients belonging to the minority community turn up there in large numbers.

“We also focused on women health and child health during the survey. Vaccination was the key focus area. Last week of the 26 households surveyed in the Golconda area, as many as 18 households with children below two years did not bother to go in for vaccination. We also noticed hernia and thyroid in women and appendicitis in children. A large number of women reported gynaecological issues,” said HHF managing trustee Mujtaba Hasan Askari.

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He said most patients come for treatment of cold, cough and fever (seasonal flu), body pain, joint pains and rashes and high fever (mostly dengue and chikungunya). A significant number of young women come with anaemia and pregnancy-related complications, while middle aged women (above 40 years) report diabetes and hypertension and other non-communicable or lifestyle diseases. A few trauma and road traffic accident cases are also part of the outpatient department under orthopaedics.

“Vaccination compliance in Old City areas is poor as per survey results. Chicken pox and mumps cases are reported in large numbers. Our survey was based on the turnout of patients at 12 public sector hospitals between August and December 2017. More number of patients are turning up at government hospitals as the state government recently upgraded facilities and introduced intensive care units and dialysis centres,” Askari said, adding that availability of doctors has also increased.

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He said patient trust in government hospitals too is increasing gradually. “Last year we dealt with 3,000 patients in government hospitals. They successfully completed their treatment free of charge. This has boosted the morale of poor patients. Thanks to word of mouth, more patients are turning up at public sector hospitals,” he said. #KhabarLive

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