ISLAMABAD: Ulema and prayer leaders have been requested to help the capital administration and the healthcare department control breeding and spreading of the dengue virus in the capital.

Officers of the capital administration met a number of ulema and khateeb with a request to create awareness among the people against dengue virus and fever in their sermons. They were requested to deliver sermons about cleanliness and its importance in Islam.

The sermons should also explain how to control breeding and spreading of the dengue mosquitoes, said officials. Besides, the citizens should be also told what to do in case of a dengue fever.

The District Health Office prepared points for the prayer leaders to create awareness among the people. The health officials will also assist them in preparing the sermons. The district health officers may also speak along with the khateeb, if needed.

The step has been included in a strategy prepared by the capital administration to limit and control further transmission of dengue fever keeping in view the recent surge in the number of suspected cases.

Massive cleanup operations have also been carried out in Tarnol and Rawat in collaboration with the sanitation directorate of Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) for removal of garbage and solid waste that can act as harboring sites of the dengue mosquitoes.

The citizens are requested to wear full sleeve clothes to avoid mosquito bites and use mosquito repellents on skin during night.

All hospitals in the federal capital have been directed to follow the standard protocols – setting up dengue counters, dengue isolation wards and quarantine) for prevention, control and treatment of dengue fever. Ten per cent of the total beds have been reserved for the dengue patients in healthcare facilities and free treatment is also ensured as per government policy

A special dengue cell has been established and made functional while daily reports about dengue cases as well as facilities provided to the patients are received in the cell and forwarded to field teams for response.

Managements of all government and private healthcare facilities in Islamabad have been taken on board and a WhatsApp groups have been created to ensure timely receipt/disbursement of information.

Citizens are being sensitised about dengue fever and the precautionary measures through social media as well as print media. Two awareness sessions and medical camps have been arranged in collaboration with volunteers on corporate social responsibility basis in which brochures, literature and more than 700 mosquito repellents were distributed.

Section 144 has been imposed by the district magistrate to prohibit any kind of accumulation of fresh and stagnant water along with other breeding spots like junkyards and tyre shops. In Rawat and Bhara Kahu, more than 15 junkyards were sealed.

Moreover, five leading hospitals of Islamabad have started tagging admitted patients which are then responded by field teams of the directorate of health services.

A larviciding campaign is being also carried out to ensure 100pc surveillance and larvae elimination by focusing junkyards, basements, under-construction and abandoned sites, petrol pumps and CNG stations.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2019

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