PESHAWAR: The health department has established special wards at the district and tehsil headquarters hospitals for the management of dengue fever.
Also, special committees under the supervision of deputy commissioners are monitoring the situation regarding the prevention and control of the mosquito-borne ailment after emergence of few cases in Peshawar.
“We have allocated 10 beds at DHQs and five each at THQ and category D hospitals throughout the province for dengue-affected people. There will not be a repeat of the previous years when dengue caused fatality. We are working on the treatment and preventive aspects simultaneously,” director general (health services) Dr Arshad Ahmad Khan told Dawn.
Panels monitoring situation regarding prevention, control of mosquito-borne disease
The DG said Peshawar, Swat, Nowshera, Haripur and Mardan were among the high-risk districts, where preparations had been made to cope with any outbreak.
He said the DC-led district committees held regular meetings to monitor the situation but there was no threat of dengue outbreak.
“We have investigation kits and medicines to diagnose and manage patients at hospitals,” he said.
“According our assessment, there is no threat of dengue outbreak. However, the people should keep their surroundings clean and avoid accumulation of water,” he said.
Dr Arshad said the health department had tasked 1,500 lady health workers with scaling up public awareness of the causative agents of dengue fever at community level to prevent the mosquito-borne disease.
He said dengue killed 70 people last year mostly in villages alerting the health authorities to scale up its preparedness level to fight the disease.
“This year, our preparedness level is very high to tackle dengue effectively. A multipronged strategy has been launched in collaboration with the relevant departments at the district level under the supervision of deputy commissioners to spearhead efforts against this problem,” he said.
Six dengue cases from Sarband, Pishtakhara and Badabher villages of Peshawar have been admitted to the Khyber Teaching Hospital in the last one week, while four of them continue to be under treatment.
The doctors involved in the management of dengue patients from rural areas of Peshawar have advised the people to stop using room coolers declaring it the prime cause of the last year’s epidemic in the areas, which are reported such cases this year as well.
They said the low patient flow resembled that of the last year when there was a sudden upsurge and hospitals ran out of beds.
“The moment we stop using these coolers, the production of mosquitoes will halt and the dengue cases will disappear. The people should wear full-sleeve shirts to prevent mosquito bites,” said Prof Noorul Iman, dean of the Khyber Medical College.
He said a 20-bed special ward had been established at the Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital but the focus should be on prevention of water accumulation as it led to the higher mosquito larvae production.
“We are prepared to handle patients but the most important thing to do is to do away with room coolers, where the water stored in its base provided breeding grounds to mosquitoes to dengue spread.
“Dengue can cause death as it has no specific treatment like other viral infections. The use of mosquito nets is strongly recommended to prevent dengue,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2019