Dengue spreading fast as 1,200 cases reported from Peshawar villages – Pakistan

PESHAWAR: Dengue hemorrhagic fever is spreading rapidly, as 1,200 cases have been confirmed during the last 25 days from rural areas in the Peshawar district due mainly to the lack of coordinated efforts by line departments to ensure cleaning, water supply, electricity, fumigation and raising public awareness about preventive measures.

The health department issued a notice in March this year seeking coordination between the line departments, but it was not heard and now there is an outbreak of the disease in progress.

More than 100 health centers in the district have received more than 100 suspected patients daily with complaints of vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. According to the official document, about 50 of them have been positive and about 4,000 have been evaluated so far. So far, university hospitals in the city have treated 188 patients, of which 25 have been admitted to isolation rooms. The affected people were between two and 65 years old.

The health claims situation of the DG is satisfactory, expects the dengue season to end in a few days

The record shows that the majority of patients belong to the Sarband, Achini, Sheikhan, Sheikh Mohammadi and Palosi areas, where thousands of people were infected in the dengue outbreak in 2017.

The sources blame the lack of coordination between Pesco, the Peshawar water and sanitation services (WSSP) and the Tehsil municipal administration to stop the tide of the virus.

They said unscheduled power outages forced people to store water and provide breeding grounds for larvae. They said that the scheduled discharge of electric power could help people get water without storage.

Health workers lack funds to buy fuel and hire additional personnel to carry out intra-residential spraying, which is the main reason for the increase in infection.

The Director General of Health Services, Dr. Arshad Ahmed Khan, said Sunrise that Peshawar with a population of four million registered less than 500 cases so far.

“The situation is quite satisfactory and the dengue season will end in a few days. We are providing enough resources to deal with the situation throughout the province, ”he added.

He recognized that intersectoral collaboration was more necessary. He said society's sanitation and hygiene habits were declining rapidly. He added that people should be encouraged to maintain cleanliness since the health department cannot eradicate dengue alone.

Dr. Arshad said the funds were made available to the district health officer to take the desired measures. "Other sectors are charging their burdens to the health department," he added.

The health professional associated with efforts against dengue claim that despite the lack of resources, they have been campaigning to raise public awareness through health education in endemic areas. However, they require special funds.

To prevent the epidemic from becoming a major health problem like 2017 when thousands were admitted and hospitals were left without beds in addition to about 70 deaths, doctors say that rural health facilities in high-risk areas should be well equipped To work 24 hours. and other necessary steps must be secured in unison with other departments to deny breeding sites to mosquitoes and inform people that stagnant water pools in neighborhoods can cause disease.

They say that, historically, the district of Peshawar has been the main stay of the dengue virus, where people must be prepared for mosquito nets and the personnel dedicated to prevention and treatment activities should receive transportation, fuel, fees and subsidy. Dengue risk in addition to taking safety measures for them.

Our Shangla correspondent adds: On Sunday, seven cases of dengue were reported in Tehsil Bisham of the Shangla district.

According to Kamal Zada, spokesman for the health department, seven cases of dengue were reported from the Maira union council of Bisham Tehsil during the last two days. He said four of the patients were admitted to the dengue isolation ward established at the Bisham hospital in Tehsil headquarters.

He said the cases could increase over time. He said the health department was struggling to control the situation in the area.

Posted on Dawn, September 2, 2019



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