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Sindh govt declines Punjab offer

Updated September 05, 2013

LAHORE, Sept 4: Health Secretary Hasan Iqbal says the Sindh Health Department has declined an offer of the Punjab government to help control dengue in Karachi and other parts of the province.

“I contacted the authorities of Sindh government but its health department postponed the visit of health professionals of Punjab to Karachi,” he said while addressing a cabinet meeting called on Wednesday to review the steps taken by various departments to control dengue.

Hasan Iqbal told the meeting that only 71 confirmed dengue cases had been reported in Punjab so far compared to 943 total cases in Sindh which had also reported 10 deaths by the virus. Of 943, he said, 847 dengue cases were confirmed in Karachi alone.

He said the Punjab Health Department had also offered assistance and cooperation to the health department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the eradication of dengue. He said a team of clinicians and entomologists of Punjab visited Swat district for one week and provided training to doctors and other staff for the treatment of dengue patients.

Moreover, on the instructions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab Health Department has donated two CBC machines to KP for blood test of dengue patients.

Besides, 200kg Temephos and 180kg Deltamathrin had also been provided for dengue spray. Similarly, 40 drips of dextron were also dispatched to KP for dengue patients’ treatment, the health secretary said.

“So far 1,056 confirmed dengue patients in Swat district have been reported and 240 patients are under treatment in hospitals,” Hasan Iqbal told the cabinet meeting.

Earlier, presiding over the meeting, Health Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu said dengue was under control in Punjab.

Khwaja Salman Rafique stressed that apart from public sector schools, private sector education institutions should particularly focus on creating awareness about dengue control.

The secretaries of cooperatives department, forest and fisheries, labour, social welfare, local government, higher education, schools education, environment, senior officers of Punjab Food Authority, Lahore division commissioner, PITB and Special Branch briefed the meeting about activities of dengue surveillance and larvaciding.