PESHAWAR: Young Doctors Association has expressed concerns over the rapid spread of dengue fever in the province, especially in Peshawar and Buner districts, and asked the government to take appropriate steps to prevent its transmission.

YDA spokesman Dr Faisal Barakzai said in a statement here on Sunday that more than 200 cases of dengue fever were reported from the rural areas of Peshawar as well as Buner which was a matter of grave concern.

He said attributed the spread of dengue fever to lack of coordinated efforts by line departments to ensure cleanliness, supply of water, electricity, fumigation and create public awareness regarding preventive measures.

Dr Faisal said that all the health facilities in both the districts were receiving suspected patients daily with complaints of vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.

He said that Peshawar specially its rural areas including Sarband, Achini, Sheikhan, Sheikh Mohammadi, Tehkal and Palosai were endemic and more than 10,000 people had been tested positive for the ailment in 2017. Since then, every year, dengue fever killed and infected people, mainly due to lack of preventive efforts, he said.

The YDA spokesman said that coordination among Pesco, Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) and tehsil municipal administration was needed to stem the tide of the virus.

He said that unscheduled power outages forced people to store water and provide breeding spaces to larvae. He added that scheduled power loadshedding could help the people in getting water supply without any need of storage.

Dr Faisal said that to prevent the epidemic from snowballing into major health issue like 2017 when thousands were admitted and hospitals ran out of beds besides about 70 deaths, the rural health facilities in high-risk areas should be well-equipped to work round-the-clock and other necessary steps in unison with other departments should be ensured to deny breeding grounds to mosquitoes.

He said that people should be informed that stagnant water pools in the neighbourhoods could cause the ailment. He said that the cases might increase with the passing of time.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021

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