Punjab CM seeks report on dengue prevention after reports of three deaths at govt hospitals

Updated September 05, 2019

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There has been report of the death of a 40-year old woman admitted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital. — AFP/File
There has been report of the death of a 40-year old woman admitted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: As dengue continues to spread in the city, along with reports of three deaths at government-run hospitals, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has sought a detailed report on dengue prevention measures.

The former national health services minister under the PML-N government Saira Afzal Tarar has criticised the increase in dengue patients and the death of residents, saying the government was negligent when it came to controlling the deadly virus.

There has been a report of the death of a woman admitted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), identified as 40-year-old Rasheeda Begum from Gulzar-i-Quaid, She was brought to the hospital four days ago.

However, BBH spokesperson Dr Innayatur Rehman told Dawn there were no dengue-related deaths reported in the hospital.

He said he checked all the wards following media reports of the death of the woman, “but no such death occurred”. Dr Rehman said it would be difficult to hide a dengue-related death, as all such information has to be sent to the Punjab health department.

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Services has written to the chief executive officer of the District Health Authority seeking detailed reports on two deaths due to the dengue virus at the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and BBH on Aug 30 and Aug 21, respectively.

According to the letter, patient no.2601020, identified as Nadia, died at HFH on Aug 30, while patient no.2590798, identified as Mohammad Babar, died at BBH on Aug 21.

The director health has asked the District Health Authority CEO to send complete hospital records, along with laboratory reports and death certificates, within two days.

However the BBH administration has claimed the patient in question died of diabetes while also suffering from dengue. The hospital spokesperson said her cause of death was not dengue, but other ailments.

Mr Buzdar has expressed concern regarding the increase in the number of dengue patients in Rawalpindi and has sought a report from the health secretary.

He said that practical measures adopted by the government to overcome dengue should be visible in the field, and administrative offices should also ensure the implementation of standard operating procedures.

He has directed that attention be given to indoor and outdoor surveillance, and the disposal of stagnant water should be ensured as early as possible. Spraying should be carried out if needed.

Mr Buzdar has said that dengue patients should be provided the best facilities in hospitals.

Ms Tarar, the former NHS minister, has said the provincial government has failed to deliver, while people are dying and the health minister is missing.

“Imran Khan claimed to spend money on health and education while criticizing PML-N’s development work but after coming into power, PTI failed to provide healthcare to the common people and it exposed their double standards,” she said in a statement after the reports of a woman’s death from dengue at BBH.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2019