Anti-dengue drive hamstrung by lack of manpower

Health authorities struggle to destroy dengue larvae with inadequate staff

Our Correspondent August 26, 2022
In this file photo, a worker of the Rawalpindi District Health Authority carries out anti-dengue spray at the Rawalpindi Press Club. Photo: Agha Mahroz/EXPRESS


The Rawalpindi District Health Authority and allied departments are facing severe problems to cope with the increasing number of dengue larvae across the district owing to a lack of manpower.

A total of only 2000 sanitary patrols on daily wages are at the disposal of the health authorities as compared to the requisite 6000 workers required for the central pool.

The number of dengue patients could increase to an alarming level if immediate steps were not taken to destroy the dengue larvae which have been detected in large quantity in urban and cantonment areas.

The health department has already warned of the risk of the spread of dengue cases across the district.

At the moment, the Chak Jalal Din Union Council of Potohar Town has become the epicentre of dengue larvae where 100 dengue cases have been reported recently.

District Health Authority (DHA) Chief Executive Officer Dr Ansar Ishaq said that a “focused operation” has been launched in Chak Jalal Din with a spray and fumigation to destroy the larvae.

Dr Ishaq said that the anti-dengue campaign has been divided into two parts — raising public awareness and dengue surveillance.

He said that the district administration was requested to provide 6000 sanitary patrols in order to expedite the anti-dengue campaign but only 2000 sanitary patrols have been hired on daily wages.

According to the dengue control report, 94,590 hotspots of dengue larvae have been detected in the district so far but 5,468 hotspots could not be visited.

Health authorities have registered 900 FIRs against those who were found violating dengue SOPs and 356 buildings have been sealed.

Meanwhile, 21 new dengue cases were reported in the district during the last 24 hours and of them, eight tested positive.

Anti-dengue wards have been set up in three major hospitals in the city which have been flooded by an influx of suspected dengue patients.

The anti-dengue squad during a search operation in the city sealed four places and filed cases against three people for violating the dengue SOPs.

Mobile labs and camp offices have also been set up in areas which have been declared ‘red zones'.

According to the district administration, all possible steps were being taken to contain the spread of dengue cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2022.


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