Paucity of IV saline in Khulna hampers treatment of dengue patients


UNB, Khulna :

The treatment of dengue patients in Khulna is being hampered due to shortage of IV saline over the past week.
Though the saline is found at one or two pharmacies, the patients and relatives have to count twice to thrice of normal price.

Normally a one litre IV saline is sold at Tk 87 which now has jumped to Tk 150 to 200.

The shortage of saline aggravated after the Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection conducted drives against the price hike in the district on Thursday.

Most of the dengue patients take treatment from Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) which could not provide any saline to the patients for the past one week.

However, the KMCH on Thursday received 3,000 litres of IV saline which is too little compared to the demand.

Physicians said the watery part of the blood decreases in the human body when people are infected with dengue, resulting in an increase of density of blood and reduced blood pressure.

The patients must be given saline to maintain blood liquidity and keep blood pressure stable and a patient needs to be given one to two liters daily, in some cases more than this, they said.


An under-treatment patient, 0.9 percent sodium chloride saline has to be pushed into the body, they observed.

Nazmul Hoque, who has been hospitalised with dengue at the KMCH for the last six days, said the hospital provided them with no medicines and they were bound to take saline and other medicines from pharmacies at high prices.

Visiting several pharmacies at the Khulna city’s Moilapota, Sonadanga and in front of the KMCH, the UNB’s Khulna correspondent found the scarcity of the saline used for the dengue-infected patients.

The druggists said due to lack of a low supply the saline is hardly available in the pharmacies. An extra amount of money is to be paid once found at one or two pharmacies.

They said managing the saline is mostly impossible despite paying an advance payment.

Dr Sheikh Baharul Alam, president of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Khulna chapter, said the shortage of saline increases along with the number of dengue patients as the saline is effective for remedy of dengue.

On the other hand, Dr Mostafa Kamal, director of private Khulna City Medical College Hospital, held businesspeople responsible for the artificial shortage of saline to cut a good profit.