Public health: ‘So far, there is no dengue epidemic’

Citizens told to allow no stagnant water.

Express August 17, 2011


“There is no dengue epidemic in the province,” Executive District Officer Dr Umer Farooq Baloch said while addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening.

Health, WASA, Solid Waste Management, Horticulture Authority and the people, he said, have to work together to control dengue.

Meanwhile, the number of documented dengue cases continued to rise across the province. The number reached 70 on Wednesday. Out of these, 64 cases have been reported in Lahore alone.  According to the Health Department figures, 29 of these patients are under treatment at various hospitals, while 35 have been discharged.

(Read: Outbreak alert, Dengue cases rise to 222)

Dr Baloch said that dengue was a public health problem and could be overcome only with people’s cooperation. He said that the Health Department had so far distributed 600,000 pamphlets among the citizens.

On Tuesday, Additional Secretary (Estb) Dawood Muhammad Khan Bareach had visited Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Services Hospital and the Institute of Blood Transfusion to review the diagnostic and treatment arrangements for dengue patients.

He also visited the isolation ward for dengue patients in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Medical Superintendent Dr Ajaz Sheikh told the additional secretary that out of the 26 beds in the isolation ward, eight had been reserved for female patients. He said that a four-bed unit had been set up at the paediatric department. The MS said a dengue patient and three suspected of dengue infection were under treatment in the ward and recovering well.

Later, Bareach also visited Services Hospital where MS Dr Muhammad Javed briefed him about the arrangements for dengue treatment. Dr Javed informed the additional secretary that a dengue patient and eight people suspected of dengue infection were admitted at the hospital.

At the Institute of Blood Transfusion, Bareach was briefed by the institute director Prof Mehfoozur Rehman about the treatment facilities. He said that three Mega Cell Separator Units were operational at the institute which separated two bags of blood cells within 90 minutes. He said that platelet kits available at the institute were enough for hundreds of patients.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary Rao Muhammad Aslam visited Jinnah Hospital on Tuesday to check the arrangements. He was informed that a 14-bed ward had been set up at the hospital, where seven patients suspected of dengue infections were under treatment. Moreover, an eight-bed ward has been set up at the Lahore General Hospital. MS Dr Zafar Ikram said that additional 14 beds have been allocated in the medical ward in case more dengue patients were admitted in the hospital.

On the instructions of the Health Department, all teaching hospitals in Lahore have established special counters for dengue patients in their emergency departments.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.

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