Lapse in healthcare

Concerted and multifaceted approach is essential to mitigate impact of malaria and dengue

December 27, 2023


The data from the Sindh health department reveals that 555,433 cases of Malaria were reported in the province this year. Last year, a substantial part of Sindh was impacted by floods, leading to a surge in various diseases, including malaria. Despite the absence of major floods this year, the province experienced a significant rise in the incidence of malaria. The failure to control a disease like malaria and the resulting deaths indicate a deficiency in healthcare efforts in the province.

Despite the change in weather, the number of cases has not decreased, mainly because of inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. The overflowing drainage systems, combined with water accumulation on roads and a lack of proper waste disposal, have created favourable conditions for mosquitoes to breed and carry the malaria parasite. High levels of poverty, along with limited access to proper sanitation and healthcare services, have intensified challenges in rural and impoverished areas. It is unfortunate that both dengue and malaria persistently claim the lives of numerous citizens who are unable to access timely and effective treatment. Last year, malaria led to the deaths of 24 people in Sindh.

Provincial healthcare authorities have consistently overlooked this growing healthcare challenge because of its complex nature. It is crucial to involve key stakeholders, such as the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and district authorities like the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, to address this issue effectively. In addition, promoting proper sanitation and hygiene practices within communities can help reduce exposure to mosquitoes. This includes educating people about the importance of using bed nets, wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents to avoid mosquito bites. A concerted and multifaceted approach is essential to mitigate the impact of malaria and dengue, safeguard public health and build a more resilient healthcare system in the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2023.

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