KP declares public health emergency

Updated September 01, 2017

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has declared the outbreak of dengue in the province a public health emergency and asked the relevant departments to immediately take measures for the control and prevention of the mosquito-borne disease.

A notification issued by the office of the chief minister on Thursday asked the departments concerned to procure the necessary items and medicines to control dengue outbreak and provide the immediate treatment to the affected people.

Meanwhile, the health department issued a news release insisting 13 deaths by dengue had been reported in the province, mostly in Peshawar’s Tehkal locality, where the vector-borne problem broke out in early July.

It added that all hospitals had established anti-dengue wards for men and women, where the suspected cases were screened and were given medication free of charge.

Govt asks relevant depts to immediately take steps to control, prevent dengue

In a related development, the Khyber Teaching Hospital, a medical teaching institution, established a separate outdoor patient department for dengue patients.

The development comes in line with the directives of the health department and the subsequent approval of the hospital’s board of governors, a news release said.

The release said four dengue facilitation clinics each with two doctors had been working at the hospital round the clock, while four computer counters had become functional with 15 operators on shift basis to provide prompt services to the people affected by the problem.

It added that five laboratory counters with three hematology machines, three centrifuge machines and dengue serology station with 22 technicians, 14 internees and four supervisory staff working under director (pathology) Dr Mohammad Asghar dealt specifically with dengue patients.

The release said hospital director Dr Nekdad Khan and medical director Prof Roohul Muqim were monitoring all patient care activities round the clock, while standard drugs were being provided to the hospitalised patients from a special pharmacy under the guidance of two pharmacists in each shift.

It added that physicians had been carrying out routine morning and evening rounds to ensure that facilities were available for dengue patients and that two doctors and two nurses along with supportive staff were on duty nonstop specifically for dengue patients in every unit.

The release said the hospital had been receiving bulk of patients affected by dengue and had so far admitted 947 patients and that 597 of them had been sent home after recovery.

It said 214 patients were still under treatment in different units of the hospital, while 13,206 suspected people had been screened free of charge for dengue and 2,323 of them had tested positive for the disease.

Meanwhile, the KTH board of governors on Thursday announced the cancellation of Eid holidays after dengue outbreak due to which all clinical and non-clinical staff members will remain present in the hospital.

It also asked the employees, who have already gone on vacation, to rejoin their respective duties immediately.

Another order issued by the health department asked the KTH’s administration to ensure that the daily situation report was sent to the government in a timely manner.

It said the department acknowledged the role of the KTH with regard to diagnosis and treatment of dengue patients but deplored that the response of the KTH management was inconsistent and unsatisfactory.

The department said despite requests, the hospital didn’t provide timely reports to it.

It instructed the KTH administration to inform the health department about the situation for the immediate response.

In Karak district, the health department established isolation wards in eight major hospitals of the district for the treatment of dengue patients.

District health officer Dr Rasool Jan Khattak has declared 13 union councils of Karak sensitive for dengue epidemic and asked the relevant officials to ensure anti-dengue spray on a daily basis in those areas.

A relevant official said a special rapid response team had been formed in the district to take action in case of the detection of dengue case, while lady health supervisors had been tasked with visiting girl schools.

He said leady health workers would go from door to door in their respective areas to create awareness of ways and means to prevent dengue.

In Ghalanai area of Mohmand Agency, political agent Mehmood Aslam Wazir led a walk held to create public awareness of dengue.

The participants carried banners and placards inscribed with messages about the control and prevention of dengue.

In Khar town of Bajaur Agency, additional political agent Mohammad Ali Khan led an anti-dengue awareness walk.

Officials of the local administration and health department and Agency Headquarters Hospital’s doctors and paramedics participated in the walk.

The speakers urged the relevant government and non-government organisations to join hands against dengue.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2017