Peshawar’s rat nightmare shows no sign of ending: Washington Post

ISLAMABAD: A public health crisis in Peshawar shows no sign of subsiding as “killer rats” continue their rampage, biting more than 400 people over the past month, said the Washington Post.

Quoting the officials at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, the leading paper of the Untied States mentions how Peshawar is gripped with fear of the supersize rats that have infested the city, killing at least eight children over the past year.

The story -‘Man, these rats can really bite’- quotes Jameel Shah, a spokesman for Lady Reading Hospital, stating that the hospital had treated 423 patients for rat bites since April 1, including 23 on Tuesday. About half of the victims are children, Shah added.

The newspaper said Peshawar residents appear increasingly exasperated and mentioned the authorities giving incentives of killing rats by paying residents and professional rat killers Rs 25 for each rodent killed.

The paper said Peshawar’s rat crisis had even figured in the notoriously heated national political debate and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s leader Imran Khan was being mocked over his failure to tackle the rat problem.

Earlier this week, demonstrations erupted across the city as protesters demanded that local leaders do more to combat the problem, the Washington Post quoted a Pakistani daily.

The demonstrators held up signs while chanting “Go chooha (rat) go”, showing anger against the inefficiency of the local government of PTI to control the problem.

There has also been a dispute between local health officials and sanitation officials over who should spearhead the campaign.

Shah, however, said the rat infestations had clearly grown into a health crisis. “We have informed the district to initiate serious measures or otherwise there will be problems like rabies,” he said.

Even the hospital hasn’t been spared.

In recent weeks, officials have been scrambling to get rid of rats that have showed up in the hospital. The first priority is tackling the rats in the gynecology wing where newborn babies sleep.-APP