KARACHI: With the recent heavy rainfall across the province, health officials are concerned that far more cases of the dengue virus are expected in the next three months and that measures must be taken to curb it.
Prayer leaders at mosques will be asked to raise awareness by holding special sermons during the Friday prayers to inform people about the virus, its symptoms and safety measures that need to be taken. This decision was taken at a meeting attended by representatives of the Karachi Municipal Corporation, District Municipal Corporation and the Sindh Health Department at the Karachi commissioner’s office on Saturday.
The officials said that Clifton and North Nazimabad would be affected the most, same as last year.
Reports suggest that the period between August to October is the peak season for the spread of the disease.
The Karachi commissioner, Roshan Ali Shaikh, announced a three-step plan to control the spread of the disease. Firstly, pamphlets printed in Urdu would be distributed to raise awareness among the people and banners and billboards with relevant information will be put up across the city. Pamphlets will also be distributed in schools to raise awareness among children. Secondly, awareness walks will be held and lastly, unlike last year, the swimming pools of five-star hotels will not be closed.
Shaikh said that there will be proper vigilance throughout the city and places where there is a greater chance of mosquitoes breeding. He suggested that ponds should be filled with fish as they feed on mosquito eggs. “According to the data shared by the Dengue Surveillance Cell (DSC) established at Civil Hospital, Karachi, so far around 190 positive cases, one case of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and two negative cases have been reported in Karachi and two positive cases have been reported from the rest of the province,” said the in-charge of the DSC, Dr Shakeel Aamir Mullick.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.
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