‘Dhaka streets bloodied with Eid sacrifice could pose health hazard’

Dhaka, Sep 16 (IANS) Doctors and health professionals are concerned about a probable disease outbreak in Dhaka following the hours-long flooding of streets with rainwater mixed with the blood of more than a million sacrificed animals on the day of Eid-ul-Azha.

Though blood-soaked streets due to sacrifice of animals on Eid day is nothing new for Dhaka residents, incessant rain for nearly a day and a half resulted in “rivers of blood”.

Rainwater mixed with animal blood completely submerged streets in the city’s Malibagh, Shantinagar, Bijoynagar, Paltan, Motijheel, Jatrabari, Bakshi Bazar and Kanthalbagan areas, The Dhaka Tribune reported.

The waterlog lasted for nearly 10 hours, which means thousands of people came into the contact with the dirty water, raising concern among health experts.

Most people did not use the designated slaughtering spots – a major reason for the situation on Eid day, experts claimed.

To avoid slaughter in random spots and keep the city clean, city authorities had designated 1,000 slaughter spots — 496 in Dhaka North and 504 in Dhaka South — for Eid-ul-Azha this year.

However, most of the city dwellers ignored the authorities and preferred slaughtering the animals in front of their houses.

Experts fear that contact with the bloodied water may put people in danger of developing skin diseases, and it could also result in an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

“Blood is usually sterile, unless it carries any viral or bacterial infection. But when it gets mixed with water, it becomes contaminated. So animal blood mixed with rainwater in the city streets is definitely a cause of concern. It could spread any kind of waterborne diseases, including diarrhoea, cholera, hepatitis, etc,” said Khaled Noor, paediatrician and former professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU), the daily reported.

Children are most vulnerable to falling ill in this situation, he added.

Echoing Khaled, Riad Siddiky, consultant on skin and venereal diseases at the BSSMU, said skin diseases are usually on the rise in Dhaka after Eid-ul-Azha.

–IANS

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