A call to action to protect our children from the wreck of summer


In the relentless grip of Bangladesh’s unforgiving heatwave, the plight of  little Madeya Momtaz, courageously battling pneumonia in the crowded confines of a hospital ward, serves as a stark reminder of the perilous toll this weather exacts on our most vulnerable.

Her harrowing ordeal, coupled with the distressing surge in pneumonia and diarrhoea cases at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, compels us to confront an urgent crisis.

The scorching heat does more than test our resilience; it poses grave risks to the health of our children.

With their immune systems weakened, they become easy prey for respiratory infections like pneumonia.

Dehydration, a cruel consequence of the unrelenting heat, further compounds the peril, paving the way for debilitating digestive ailments such as diarrhoea.

The overcrowded wards of Shishu Hospital serve as a haunting testament to the toll this weather exacts on our innocent young.

Globally, pneumonia is among the top five diseases that causes fatalities in children aged under five, according to data of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b)


As the medical fraternity raises the alarm, warning that the situation may spiral further with the relentless march of the heatwave, we find ourselves compelled to respond with urgency and unity.

Our healthcare system must steel itself for the impending surge in patients. Adequate stockpiling of essential medicines and the reinforcement of staffing levels are not mere options; they are imperatives to meet the burgeoning demand for care.

We need to empower our communities with the knowledge to stave off dehydration, to identify the early warning signs of pneumonia and diarrhoea, and to seek swift medical intervention when needed.

It is through education that we can arm ourselves most effectively against the specter of tragedy.

Confronting this crisis demands a concerted, multifaceted approach. Let us elevate the health and well-being of our children to the apex of our priorities.

Let us champion preventive measures and fortify our healthcare infrastructure to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Together, we can stem the tide of this summer of suffering.