KARACHI             -            Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed Dengue Control Programme administration to start research-based work so that pre-cautionary measure could be adopted in vulnerable area.

Simply collection of data only based on hospital reports is not enough to control the situation but we must have the map showing the affected areas of last year so that concerned departments, including local government and health departments could be informed to take precautionary measures before the start of dengue season.

This he said while presiding over a meeting of Prevention and Control Programme for Dengue (PCPD) here on Tuesday at CM House. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister Local Government Nasir Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh, Programme Manager Prevention and Control of Dengue Programme Dr Mahmood Iqbal and other concerned.

Murad said that the people in the dengue control programme were carrying out routine programme and this would not create any impact. “You have to collect a reliable data, not only from the hospitals but from laboratories to ascertain the actual number of the affected people and we must know which areas are affected this month/year and how much people were affected last year and what is the difference,” he said and added there must be scientific method to tackle the situation.

The chief minister directed dengue programme team to prepare maps of the affected areas of last year and this year and study the steps taken last year and their impact and then identify the weaknesses, if any. “You can assign the research-based work to medical universities for your guidance,” he said.

Murad also directed the dengue control programme to inform the concerned departments, including commissioners and deputy commissioners about the period in which dengue mosquitoes emerge so that concerned institutions could start precautionary measures.

The chief minister was told that the country was facing an outbreak of Dengue infection in all its provinces. Total 52,476 dengue cases have been reported till December 1, 2019 which include 13,283 cases in Islamabad, 10,051 Punjab, 15,521 Sindh, 7,080 KPK, 3,386 Balochistan and 1,690 AJK.

In Sindh 15,521 cases of dengue infection have been reported, out of which 14,534 or 93 percent happened in the city of Karachi.

Provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho told the chief minister that more affected areas of the city were Central, South, East and Korangi. Only 1,085 cases were reported from other districts of the province which major incidence in Hyderabad, Umerkot and Mirpurkhas.

Murad was told that during 2019 total 43 deaths have been reported, including 37 in private and six in public hospitals. The cause of deaths was mentioned as dengue hemorrhagic, fever, dengue shock syndrome and co-morbidity.

It was pointed out cases of dengue infection started increasing from September 2019 due to heavy rainfall, high humidity and temperature and disposal of solid waste issues. At this the chief minister said that there were various countries which receive rain continuously but such cases were reported there. ‘I want you to find out the solution and prevention through your expertise, research and hard-work,” he directed the Dengue Prevention & Control Programme team.

Giving progressive report, the programme manager said that out of 3056 cases, 2697 or 88 percent were responded for activities at their homes. 2,233,493 meters space have been fumigated/space spray. 11925 rooms have been sprayed. 1547 patients received LLIN bed nets, 13495 Larvicidal activities have been done and awareness campaign was in progress.

Giving update on the situation Dr Mehmood Iqbal said that the weekly data of Karachi shoed that during first week of September, 2019, 152 cases were reported which went on increasing and reached to 2470 cases in the fourth week of October, 2019. However, cases started declining from the first week of November when 1313 cases were reported which further declined to 809 cases in the end of November.