RAWALPINDI, Sept 2: Punjab government organised Sunday as a day against Dengue Fever, to stir awareness against the disease.
Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) arranged the walk from Fawara Chowk to Liaquat Bagh. MNA Malik Shakil Awan, MPA Raja Muhammad Hanif Advocate, Commissioner Imdadullah Bosal, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar, Principal Rawalpindi Medical College Prof Dr Musaddaq Khan, EDO Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal and EDO Municipal Services Imtiaz Ahmed Malik led the walk participated by officials of the government departments, students, doctors, paramedical staff of hospitals, traders and local residents.
The participants of the walk were carrying banners and posters related to precautionary measures against dengue virus and urging citizens to maintain cleanliness in and around their homes.
While addressing the gathering, MNA Malik Shakil Awan said that it was the responsibility of every citizen to play his role in controlling dengue and protecting citizens from this dangerous disease by adopting all precautionary measures and taking steps for ensuring cleanliness and letting no place wet or stagnant water anywhere around them.
MPA Raja Muhammad Hanif Advocate appealed to the citizens to extend their all out cooperation by adopting precautionary measures against dengue.
Commissioner Imdadullah Bosal said that all government departments, agencies and organisations had been made active to eliminate larvae of dengue and protect citizens from this disease.
A puppet show titled “Bhag Dengue Bhag” based on skits and songs was also arranged for families and children to convey anti-dengue awareness message in a very soft manner. Waqar Ahmed, Director Rawalpindi Arts Council thanked all the political figures and participants for their contribution in public interest and pledged to continue such kind of activities
Meanwhile, in Taxila walks and seminars were held but all the provincial departments remained operational till Sunday. No action against elements causing massive spread of dengue fever has been taken so far.
A large number of used and new tyre shops and junkyards located in different commercial and residential areas especially on GT road remain hotbeds of breeding dengue. But no action has been taken so far by the local administration as well as health authorities and all the resources are being utilised just on cosmetic steps like awareness.
According to medical experts used and discarded tyres are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and serving as hotbeds for the larva of dengue virus but so far no fumigation drive has been launched to check the likely breeding ground in the city and no action has been taken against the junk dealers for storage of old worn out tyres in the open in which water has accumulated and cause hotbeds for the larva of dengue virus.
It has been observed that influential mafia including foreign nationals are involved in the import of used and new tyre business in the city and they have established their own warehouses on GT road, Thattta Khalil road and GT road near Nawababad where thousands of tyres are dumped.
Moreover, these junk shops are located in every nook and corner of the city especially residential areas but despite monsoon rains in the area no fumigation or spraying drive was launched in the city to check the spread of larva at these junk and tyre shops, besides no single tyre shop or warehouse has been sealed by the health authorities, as well as local administration for lack of safety measures for dengue fever.
Interestingly, the local administration as well as health department has also failed to enforce dengue epidemic control regulations 2011 in the rural and urban areas of the city, which is effective across the province till November 30, 2012.
Under the regulations, owners of all private properties, houses, factories, mills and tyre warehouses will be responsible for addressing the causes for the growth of dengue mosquito. As these rules and regulations are not implemented in the city, the health inspectors so far have not undertaken checking of different premises.
The local administration has not started spraying and fogging at these warehouses of used, new and imported tyres in the city due to the reasons best known to them.
Despite repeated attempts, no official of the health department and local administration was available for comments as all were busy in making arrangements for the day against dengue fever.While in Attock, a seminar at the tehsil municipal administration was held which was attended by people from all walks of life including students, teachers, representatives of NGOs, public representatives and government officials. Whereas the acting district coordination officer Abid Khan Wazir was the chief guest.
An awareness seminar was organised in Gujar Khan to educate masses about the menace of dengue fever and to adopt preventive measures.
Officials of the health department, including Deputy District Officer Health Dr Zafar Awan and Dr Zameer Butt spoke at the seminar.
Medical experts at the seminar said the best way to fight dengue fever was to impede the growth and production of dengue mosquitoes by draining clean water in and around the house and preventing accumulation of water in the houses and localities.
They said after September 15 no Asprin or Brufen tablet or syrups should be used against any sort of fever, rather Panadol or Paracetamol should be taken.