Govt joining hands with provinces to curb dengue outbreak: Mirza

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza has said that federal government is in coordination with provinces to curb dengue outbreak and concerted efforts are being made to check it.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mirza said that Dengue Control and Operations Center has been set up in Ministry of Health, Islamabad which would daily review the dengue related situation across the country and to take steps to control it. He said that two hotlines with contact numbers (051-9212601 and 9216890) would work round the clock and expert doctors would respond to the dengue related queries to the people.

The Special Assistant said that there are 10,013 dengue patients at present in the country out of which 2,363 are in Punjab, 2,258 in Sindh, 1,814 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1,772 in Balochistan.

“There have been instances in the past when we had been twice the number of patients as compared to the figure this year but we are fully focused and our whole concentration at present is to check its outbreak rather than doing politics. We must put aside politics and work in unison to address the Dengue outbreak,” said Zafar.

During the last 48 hours, the maximum patients suffering from dengue were identified and this number may increase in coming 7-10 days. It is our responsibility to suggest preventive measures to the people and special hotlines have been set up for the same purpose, he said adding that 70 percent dengue patients in Punjab are from Potohar region.

Mirza said that special study or research would be conducted in the coming days as why this dengue spread out in this Potohar region. He said that an Emergency Centre had been established at National Institute of Health (NIH) ten days before and the entire statistics, also available on NIH website, were being compiled there daily.

Keeping in view the possible increase in number of dengue patients, the SAPM said that owners of private hospitals in Islamabad were contacted who committed to provide a total of 1000 beds in their hospitals in case of capacity issue in the government hospitals. The treatment at these private hospitals would be free of cost, he said and thanked the management of private hospitals over this gesture. Moreover, he said that 16 Basic Health Units in Islamabad have been made functional and trained doctors are providing treatment to dengue and other patients. He asked the people to visit these units for carrying out tests following which the medical staff would guide to visit nearest hospital in case of any issue with them. He said that health department has been fumigating the most affected areas while federal government is in coordination with provincial governments to curb dengue outbreak and provide health facilities to dengue patients. Earlier, chairing a meeting of senior health officials on Dengue Situation SAPM on Health assigned Director General Health to conduct Clinical Audit and Physical Inspection of Dengue Wards in all four major hospitals of Islamabad; PIMS, Polyclinic, FGH and NIRM. A daily report will be submitted in this regard to the SAPM on Health, Secretary Health and Dengue Control Room. CEO of Sehat Sahulat Program was assigned to liaise with Private Hospitals in Islamabad who had offered 1,000 beds to SAPM on Health free of cost should the need arise. SAPM on Health constituted a three member team to oversee preventive measures. Chief Field Epidemiology Division of NIH was assigned to update National Action Plan on Dengue Outbreak with inputs from all Provinces so as to ensure adequate planning, training, curative, preventive, promotive, outbreak response for next year.