PESHAWAR: The health department in collaboration with the district administrations has begun fumigation and an awareness campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the detection of over 800 dengue cases.

Officials told Dawn that the cases of the mosquito-borne disease were reported in 19 districts of the province, where the district health officers had been instructed to team up with the administrations and relevant departments to carry out spray in the infected areas and scale up public awareness for dengue control and prevention.

“The dengue fever is endemic in Peshawar, where it killed 70 people in 2018. Since then, the disease has been emerging now and then due to puddles, which are mosquito breeding grounds,” an official said.

According to officials, the province has reported 848 cases during the last one month and of them, 37 were admitted to the hospitals. However, no casualty was reported.

Health department, district admins begin fumigation, awareness drive

Nowshera has recorded 213 dengue cases, Buner 190, Peshawar 145, Khyber 124, Swabi 34 and Mardan 24.

The health officials said they’re alarmed by the growing dengue incidence and feared the situation could go the 2018 way when the hospitals were overwhelmed with cases from villages, especially Peshawar’s.

They said the same villages were again turning out to be hotspots for dengue as most patients visiting hospitals belonged to them.

The villages are located in Tehkal Bala, Danishabad, Academy Town, Achini, Sufaid Dheri, Board Bazaar, Lalazar Colony and Charsadda Road.

A news release issued here said a meeting held under deputy commissioner of Peshawar Khalid Mehmood was informed that the district administration in collaboration with the health and other relevant departments had set up two camps in high-risk areas, where suspected patients were tested for dengue.

The teams have been deployed for fumigating the affected areas and creating awareness to the people of the causes of the mosquito-borne disease and ways to prevent it.

“The teams are accompanied by entomologists, who collect water samples to be tested for dengue fever and take appropriate measures to control its transmission,” the release said.

It added that additional DC Gul Bano was supervising the dengue-related activities in the district to ensure the timely diagnosis of patients and create public awareness of the removal of stagnant water, covering of water pots and the use of mosquito nets in endemic areas.

Officials of the health department said they had dispatched investigation kits and medicines to diagnose and manage dengue patients at local level.

They said there won’t be dengue outbreak if the people kept their surroundings clean and didn’t allow water to accumulate.

The officials said the administration’s preparedness to tackle dengue effectively was ‘high’.

They said the people had been asked to stop using room coolers, which were the prime cause of dengue spread for being mosquito breeding grounds.

The officials also called for the use of full-sleeve shirts as a preventive measure against dengue and said the focus was on the prevention of water accumulation.

They said dengue could cause death as it had no specific treatment like other viral infections.

The doctors associated with management of dengue patients told Dawn that the main focus should be on the creation of public awareness of preventive measures.

They said the dengue-related mortality rate was very high and therefore, the people should go for preventive measures to prevent deaths by the mosquito-borne disease.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2021

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