LAHORE/ KARACHI: With 14 new dengue cases reported in Karachi and eight in Lahore , the threat of an outbreak is on the horizon after recent monsoon showers.
The new figure takes the total number of confirmed dengue cases in Sindh to 138 and 84 in Punjab, and healthcare experts have warned of a dengue epidemic in the province if urgent and solid preventive steps are not taken by the concerned authorities.
(Read: ‘Anti-mosquito sprays, precautions little help’)
Incharge of Sindh Health Department's Dengue Surveillance Cell, Dr Suresh Kumar told PPI that 138 dengue cases have been confirmed in the province so far. Out of these cases, 18 belong to Tando Muhamamd Khan, one to Hyderabad and 119 to Karachi.
No dengue-related deaths have been reported so far.
However, sources have said that the government has yet to set up isolation wards for dengue patients at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbassi Shaheed Hospital, Qatar Hospital Sindh government hospitals at New Karachi, Liaquatabad and other teaching hospitals.
They said dengue patients are compelled to visit costly private hospitals due to lack of proper facilities at the government hospitals.
It has also been learnt that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had suspended its fumigation drive one month ago due to lack of funds. The fumigation vehicles could not be run due to non-availability of fuel and dearth of spraying chemicals.
EDO Health Karachi Dr Nasir Javed, when contacted, said that the higher authorities have been requested to provide funds to purchase fuel and fumigation chemicals for the spray vehicles. He hoped that after the approval of funds an aggressive fumigation drive would be launched in whole city.
Eight new dengue cases in Lahore
Eight new dengue patients were admitted to different hospitals in Lahore.
The four patients have been admitted to Jinnah Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Institute of Public Health and one was shifted to a private hospital.
The count of dengue patients in Lahore has reached 67 and 84 in Punjab.
A 40-bed ward has been set up in Mayo Hospital for the treatment of dengue patients, Dr Zahid Pervaiz, the medical superintendent (MS), said on Monday. Dr Sabir Ali, the emergency director, has been made as the coordinator for the ward. A ward has also been established at the first floor where patients suspected of dengue infection would be kept under observation. Dr Pervaiz said that besides treatment facilities, mosquito nets have been provided for in the ward. He said that the patients’ blood would be tested on the spot in the emergency ward using an Eliza analyser. This would save time and in case of a positive finding, the patient would be moved to a ward in the AVH with proper medical facilities, the MS added. Dr Pervaiz said that platelet kits and Eliza kits for tests were available at the hospital. Microbiologist Dr Tayyeba Ejaz and medical specialist Dr Munir Iqbal have been nominated as coordinators for eradication and treatment of dengue fever. The MS said that the blood bank in charge will regularly visit the dengue ward to monitor the needs for blood and product transfusion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.