RAWALPINDI: With temperatures rising, dengue larvae have been found in 224 parts of the city and cantonment areas, a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Mohammad Ali Randhawa was informed on Tuesday.
Health department teams visited 49,226 homes and 40,506 public sites and found dengue larvae in 224 places. A total of 589 teams were tasked with checking domestic and commercial units in the city’s 46 union councils and the 20 wards in cantonment areas.
The meeting was called to review the work of the health department teams, and was attended by Additional Deputy Commissioner Saima Younas, District Health Officer Dr Naveed Akram and other senior officials from civic bodies.
Although water accumulated on roads and in the streets is said to be the ideal environment for dengue mosquitoes to breed, neither the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) nor the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) appear to have done anything to clear roads and streets.
A senior health department official who asked not to be named told Dawn that the health department has to spray dengue medicine twice a month when dengue season begins, but no activity has started yet.
However, district officials told the meeting that the health department was eliminating dengue larvae in a door-to-door anti-dengue drive. They said the campaign would cover all the union councils in the coming days.
The officials admitted that anti-dengue medicines have not been sprayed yet this season, explaining that the fumigation drive would begin after the monsoon.
Mr Randhawa directed health and civic bodies’ officials to expedite efforts to eliminate dengue larvae from residential and public areas before the monsoon season begins.
He said awareness needs to be created among people about cleanliness in and around their homes. Special attention should be given to cleaning mosques, graveyards, streets and roads, and public parks, he said.
He added that the health authority should compile data from private clinics and hospitals, as most people seek medical treatment there. He said local medical practitioners should also be told to disseminate information on precautionary measures.
The deputy commissioner directed government-run hospitals to provide details of their arrangements to deal with suspected dengue patients. He said that although no dengue patients have been reported yet this season, hospitals should make arrangements in case of any emergencies in the coming days.
The dengue virus has gripped the city for the last eight years. A total of 668 cases were reported in 2011, and after a two year break without any reported cases, 894 patients were reported in 2014, 1,212 in 2015, more than 4,000 in 2016, 200 in 2017 and more than 50 in 2018.
Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2019