The gap between the service provider and the community in efforts to combat dengue should be reduced, Dr Weeraman, the head of delegation of Sri Lankan dengue experts, said on Friday.
Replying to a question at a press briefing arranged by Health Department at King Edward Medical University (KEMU), he said that the media’s role was to fill this gap.
Health Department officials said that the government had made adequate arrangements this year to combat any dengue outbreak.
Special Assistant to the Chief Minister (CM) for Health Khwaja Salman Rafique, Health Secretary Arif Nadeem, KEMU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Asad Aslam Khan, Health Services Director General Dr Nisar Cheema, members of Sri Lankan delegation Dr Paba, Dr Tissera, Dr Weeraman, Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zahid Pervaiz, CM’s Dengue Research Cell In-charge Professor Wasim Akram and Professor Muhammad Ali from Services Hospital were present.
Addressing the press conference, Dr Tissera said that the NS-I test was one of methods available to diagnose the dengue fever but it was up to clinicians if they wanted to use it.
Answering another question he did not believe that the dengue epidemic last year was the result of a ‘biological war’.
Health Secretary Nadeem said arrangements had been made for outdoor as well as indoor surveillance from the union council level to province level. He said that a daily report was required from each district. He said that the dengue patients’ data was also being collected and collated. He said that the training of doctors, paramedics and support staff had been completed and the arrangements for spray and fogging made. He said that dengue would not become an epidemic this year.
Dr Wasim Akram said that the Institute of Public Health had started research on the dengue virus and the chemicals used in killing varva were being tested. He said that the chemicals had been found to be ‘relatively effective’. Talapia fish have been released in open ponds and lakes to control mosquito population, he added. Dr Paba said that the government was prepared to meet the dengue challenge.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.