KARACHI, Oct 28: Many hospitals handling a varied number of the suspected viral haemorrhagic fever cases do not find it obligatory upon them to report details of such cases to the Dengue Surveillance Cell (DSC) of the provincial health department.

Health circles believe that only a few health care centres in public and private sectors have been keeping the Cell informed of the cases while several hundred others functioning in the city do handle VHF/dengue cases without providing details to the Cell. Resultantly, they observe, the health department is unable to bring all VHF/dengue cases to its record.

There are only 15-18 hospitals which have been providing details of haemorrhagic fever patients to the DSC voluntarily on a regular basis.

A source in the health department said that the provincial Health Minister, Syed Sardar Ahmad, wanted each and every health care centre to report VHF/dengue cases to the DSC and there were indications that he might take some measures in this regard shortly.

According to another source, 1,250 such cases had already been reported from October 1 to 27 and 430 of them were found dengue positive.

When contacted, the Medical Director of Patel Hospital, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Dr Mohammad Tufail, said that there were 18 in-house patients at the hospital as of 1pm Saturday and all of them were tested dengue positive. Out of them, six were admitted during the past 24 hours, he added.

In addition, we have been attending patients with high grade fever and other symptoms of dengue fever in the OPD and 15 of them were found dengue positive in recent days. However, they were sent back to their homes after the diagnosis and prescription process because their condition was not serious, said Dr Tufail.

As per the details given by the Sindh health department, the number of patients with suspected VHF/dengue fever swelled to 1,623 till 2pm Saturday while the number of new admissions during the past 24 hours was 39.

Additional Secretary Health Dr Abdul Majid, who is also the focal person for the Dengue Surveillance Cell, said that he could not give the total number of in-house patients at various hospitals for the treatment of VHF/dengue as the Aga Khan University Hospital had not provided its data till 4pm.

He said that 499 cases had so far been diagnosed as dengue positive.

Advising all health care centres to provide the Cell with information, including the patient’s name, age, area of residence and result of the tests on a day to day basis. The Cell’s phone numbers are: 9203108 and 9204203.

According to the DSC figures, the position of in-house patients at different hospitals in the city as of 2pm Saturday was as follows:

Liaquat National Hospital: 21 (five new), Civil Hospital: 12 (six new), Ziauddin Hospital: 33 (eight new), Jinnah Hospital: 38 (13 new), Bismillah Taqi Hospital: nine (five new), Hamid Hospital: one, National Institute of Child Health: five, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital: 10, Baqai Hospital: seven (one new), Zainul Abedin Hospital: three, Patel Hospital: six, Darul Shifa Hospital: five and Chaniot General Hospital: eight.

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