Public health: Spare no efforts to beat Congo fever virus: commissioner

Sumbal orders campaign to educate citizens about the virus

Our Correspondent September 05, 2016
Sumbal orders campaign to educate citizens about the virus. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Commissioner Abdullah Khan Sumbal on Monday directed the departments concerned, including the Lahore Division Cattle Market Management Company (LDCMMC), to utilise all-available resources to curtail the spread of Congo fever virus.

Speaking at a meeting, Sumbal said efforts by both administration and farmers were needed to eradicate the virus. LDCMMC’s Dr Ehtesham and Development Director Chaudhry Amjad attended the meeting.

The commissioner ordered that a campaign be started to educate citizens about the disease.

Ehtesham apprised the participants of steps taken to curtail the virus. “More than 326 man-hours have been dedicated to the distribution 4,300 pamphlets and 375 banners and to educate 3,906 farmers about the disease under a campaign being run by the company,” he said. He said announcements had been made at cattle markets and services of awareness teams sought at sale points. He said nearly 1,952 man-hours and 832 machine-hours were used for spraying animals against the virus. A total of 5,500 litres of spray solution had been used, he said.

As many as 12,827 vehicles and 92,355 animals were sprayed at city entrances and 12,780 vehicles and 91,923 animals at exits. At sheds at cattle markets, 112,186 animals were sprayed.

Ehtesham said three veterinary doctors and 22 assistants had been deployed at the markets. The staff focused on identifying and separating tick-infested animals, providing medical advice to affected parties and supervising spray operations.

To avoid the threat of an infection, safety gear was provided to each member, he said. He said hospitals near cattle markets had been asked to be prepared to deal with Congo fever patients. “Medical camps have been set up at the Shahpur Kanjran cattle market and provided five beds.”

Ehtesham said the company had arranged meetings with dignitaries and decision makers from various government agencies to facilitate coordination with external partners. Meetings were held with the Lahore DCO, the Raiwind assistant commissioner, the Allama Iqbal Town administrator, the Lahore division commissioner and the Sheikhupura DCO.

Several steering committee meetings bringing together members of cattle markets from across the province were also held under MNA Afzal Khokhar, the advisor to the prime minister, and the local government and community development secretary.

He said stickers had been pasted on the vehicles. “The company has allocated treatment areas and developed protocols to deal with [infected] animals from Bahawalpur, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to curb the inflow of inter-provincial fever threat. In the future, anti-tick baths will be provided to immunise animals against the virus,” Ehtesham said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2016.



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