PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has directed the district administrations across the province to ramp up anti-dengue activities and carry out fumigation to prevent the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.

A bench consisting of Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar ordered the provincial health department and district administrations in the province to cooperate with each other to minimise dengue impact on communities.

It fixed Dec 15 for the next hearing into a petition of lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel, who request sought orders for the respondents, including the provincial government, health and local government secretaries, and Peshawar deputy commissioner to take immediate steps for dengue elimination in Peshawar.

The bench asked the government to produce progress report in that respect.

The petitioner requested the court to order the government to take both preventive and curative measures against dengue fever.

He also sought the court’s orders for the respondents to start fumigation in Peshawar to protect people from dengue and provide the infected people free medical care in hospitals.

Orders fumigation across province to prevent dengue outbreak

Additional advocate general Syed Sikander Hayat Shah and programme manager of Integrated Vector Control/Malaria Control Programme, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Mohammad Rehman Afridi appeared before the bench.

They said only 64 dengue cases had so far been reported in the province and 63 of the patients had been discharged by hospitals after treatment, while the remaining one was in the ‘recovery stage’.”The situation is under control and there is no outbreak of dengue in any area of the province,” said Dr Afridi.

Two months ago, the court had directed the deputy commissioner of Peshawar to carry out fumigation in the city areas, where dengue can break out.

The petition was filed in 2017 when most parts of Peshawar were hit by dengue outbreak and the residents were admitted to hospitals in large numbers.

Last year, the court again took up the petition after dengue outbreak in several areas.

In Nov last year, the court had directed the chief secretary to ramp up preventive measures against dengue and increase coordination among government departments to fight the fever in the province.

The chief secretary had then told the court that in light of the court’s earlier directives, the government had already begun adopting different measures to prevent dengue outbreak.

The court had issued several directives to the government, including one for the inclusion of the Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar in the anti-dengue campaign to remove standing water, where dengue mosquito breeds. It had also ordered the start of a dengue awareness campaign and prevention of profiteering by laboratories for anti-dengue tests.

Earlier, the court had also asked the government to fix uniform rates of dengue-related clinical tests and take action against laboratories overcharging patients.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2020