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Sindh's government offers rules to airports and airlines regarding pink-eye

Sindh's government offers rules to airports and airlines regarding pink-eye

The health authorities in Sindh have issued specific guidelines to airports and airlines in response to a surge in cases of pink eye infection, also known as conjunctivitis. Dr. Murtaza Shah, the director of Provincial Border Health Services (BHS), stated that these guidelines have been disseminated to both medical personnel and airlines following the increase in pink eye cases.

Airlines have been instructed to advise infected passengers to contact the health department's doctor at the airports. It's important to note that there is no travel ban imposed on individuals infected with pink eye. Instead, the health department's doctor will provide travel advice to infected travelers after a thorough examination.

Pink eye is caused by a contagious virus or bacteria that spreads rapidly from person to person. To minimize the risk of contracting or transmitting pink eye, individuals can follow simple self-care measures.

It is crucial to acknowledge that while weather-related health conditions cannot be controlled entirely, the government plays a pivotal role in educating the public about epidemic prevention and ensuring an ample supply of medications.

Causes of Pink-Eye

Conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as "pink eye," is the inflammation of the transparent membrane lining the inner part of the eyelid and the white portion of the eye. This infection can be viral, bacterial, or allergic in nature, depending on the causative agent. Currently, Karachi is experiencing a significant increase in conjunctivitis cases. The primary reasons behind this rise in pink eye cases appear to be poor sanitation, adverse weather conditions, and a lack of precautionary measures among affected individuals.

Although the recent surge in conjunctivitis cases may resemble an epidemic, the uncontrolled spread of the infection throughout the city can be mainly attributed to a lack of accurate information about this eye condition among the general public. Many people either rely on home remedies or neglect the situation, leading to its exacerbation. Additionally, patients often fail to follow advice to cover their eyes, preventing the transmission of this contagious infection to others.

While outpatient departments in healthcare centers and hospitals are inundated with pink eye patients, a significant number of affected individuals are resorting to self-medication at pharmacies in Karachi. The shortage of ophthalmic drops and ointments from pharmaceutical industries compounds the problem. The demand for these medications has surpassed their production capacity. Pharmaceutical companies are struggling to meet the demand due to a shortage of essential raw materials. This, coupled with price hikes, import difficulties, a devalued currency, and dollar shortages in Pakistan, has created a pharmaceutical crisis. Medications that were once effective, affordable, and accessible to the public have now become unaffordable.

Healthcare professionals are doing their best to provide relief to pink eye patients, but the shortage of expensive and scarce medications has left many in distress. Some individuals cannot afford the fees for eye examinations by physicians and turn to pharmacies for self-medication. When pharmacists refuse to provide self-medication to prevent health risks and side effects, these individuals become frustrated. Others obtain valid prescriptions from physicians or ophthalmic consultants but are unable to obtain the required ophthalmic medication due to inadequate supply. The prolonged duration of pink eye infection, which takes a week or two to resolve, further adds to the psychological distress of the public as it disrupts their routines.


It is imperative that government healthcare departments accurately forecast healthcare budgets to efficiently address such health crises. Healthcare programs should be implemented, especially in rural areas, to educate the public through the media about precautions and general treatment options, such as applying cold compresses to the eyes and using over-the-counter pain relievers. It is crucial to recognize that Karachi serves as Pakistan's trade hub, and infectious diseases or allergies of this nature significantly impact individuals' daily lives, mobility, education, and work. Therefore, the government must ensure public education on personal hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and routine healthcare camps to promote sanitation and hygiene practices.

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