PESHAWAR: In order to overcome the outbreak of dengue virus, which has so far claimed seven lives in the provincial capital, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) health ministry has decided to set up dengue, and quick response units.
The dengue response unit has been set up at the health secretariat and has started working. The quick response unit, on the other hand, will be visiting every house to meet with individuals who were confirmed to have been infected by the virus.
“Apart from focusing on the particular house [of an infected patient], we will be following international protocols and will be screening 20 houses located to the north, west, east and south of the house where the dengue virus is reported from,” K-P Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai told the media at a news conference at the health secretariat on Thursday.
The minister stated that after cases were reported from different areas of the city, officials had swept over 4,000 households were swept and cleared in the infected areas. Moreover, Tarakai said, local government representatives, district administration officials and the Water and Sanitation services were also involved in the process.
He stated that chlorine tablets were being distributed which would be mixed in the water apart from spraying mosquito repellent.
However, the health minister termed education (awareness) about prevention against dengue virus the most important tool in the fight against the outbreak.
Tarakai stated that they had introduced a digital platform for mapping areas where most infections were being reported while patient record would also be maintained. In this regard, private hospitals have also been told to share details of patients with the dengue response unit.
The health minister further said that teams of volunteers, including Sehat Razakaar and Insaf Khidmadgar, had been formed to spread awareness among the public about the dengue virus. A toll-free number, 1700, has been established as a helpline.
In the fight against dengue, Tarakai said that the government had also approached religious scholars to help spread awareness among the public about the virus.
Meanwhile, the health ministry said that around 47 people, who had been admitted to various hospitals for dengue have been discharged while 71 people are still receiving treatment for the virus at health facilities across the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2017.