Pakistan Army has set up medical camps in Cantonment and Defence Housing Authority to provide medical facilities to dengue fever patients.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had earlier requested the Armed Forces to assist the civil administration in its campaign against the spread of the disease. A separate unit has been established at the Combined Military Hospital to provide treatment facilities.
The Higher Education Department set up 33 camps in the city on Sunday to spread awareness about the virus. Students and teachers at these camps will distribute pamphlets containing information about the symptoms of dengue fever and prevention strategies.
Speaking at a meeting of the special emergency committee set up for eradication of dengue virus, Sharif directed Health Secretary Jahanzeb Khan to immediately contact the High Commissioner of India for assistance with the import of insecticide approved by the World Health Organisation for fumigation. He also directed the health secretary to discuss the possibility of technical assistance for controlling the spread of the virus with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner.
Sharif said private hospitals should provide free-of-charge medical treatment to dengue fever patients and laboratories should charge reasonable fees for blood tests. He directed a committee consisting of members of National and Provincial Assemblies from the city to hold talks with hospital and laboratories administrations in this regard.
The chief minister asked the Health Department send psychiatrists to provide counselling to dengue patients at the city hospitals.
He said funds had already been released to the town committees to purchase more spray machines so that the fumigation campaign could be made effective. He directed the officials concerned to immediately supply 200 kg insecticide to each town committee.
Earlier, town committees’ chairmen informed the meeting about the steps they had taken to control the spread of the virus.
The health secretary said most of the 2,994 dengue fever cases reported so far were from Lahore. He said additional diagnostic kits had been arranged at the Ganga Ram and the Lahore General Hospital.
LGH reserves a building for dengue patients
The Lahore General Hospital has set aside its phase-II building for dengue fever patients. As many as 50 people have been hired as dengue workers to assist with the hospital’s efforts against the virus, Post Graduate Medical Institute Principal Prof Dr Tariq Salauddin said on Sunday. He was speaking at an emergency meeting of the administration.
He said 10 diagnostic kits were installed at the hospital to provide diagnostic services. He said more than 6,000 patients were visiting the hospital everyday though it had a capacity for no more than 800 patients. He appealed to the people that there was no need to panic if someone near them was diagnosed with dengue. He said it is a curable disease.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2011.