The newly-appointed Lahore district coordination officer (DCO) and the executive district officer (EDO) (Health) have failed to control dengue virus, as the number of dengue patients being admitted to hospitals across Lahore is increasing constantly, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif suspended former EDO health Dr Fayaz Ranjha over negligence in controlling the anti-dengue operation, and appointed Health Services Director Dr Umar Farooq as the new EDO health. But despite renewed efforts by the City District Government Lahore (CDGL), the number of patients being admitted to local hospitals is rising constantly.
Senior professors and medical superintendents of various hospitals told Pakistan Today that dengue patients from the same localities were coming to hospitals but the numbers had increased. According to data collected from major city hospitals, the dengue mosquito was present in nearly all parts of Lahore.
A large number of patients visiting the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital belonged to Garhi Shahu, Allama Iqbal Town, Model Town, Mozang, Samanabad, Anarkali and Sandha. Those visiting the Mayo Hospital came from the Walled City, Lohari Gate, Misri Shah, Badami Bagh, Bilal Ganj, Gulshan-e-Ravi and Samanabad whereas patients from Baghbanpura, Ferozepur Road and Kahna Nao visited the Lahore General Hospital.
People living in housing societies near Thokar Niaz Baig and Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital visited the Jinnah Hospital. Young Doctors Association’s (YDA) Dr Salman Kazmi said that the CDGL officials had undertaken a fresh fumigation and spraying campaign to fight the deadly dengue virus and various places such as universities’ hostels and hospitals had been fumigated.
He said that these places were ignored previously but the new EDO health was conducting fresh fumigation and awareness campaigns in different areas. Kazmi said that the dengue mosquito would be killed automatically due to the seasonal change and the CDGL officials could still prepare a long-term strategy to cope with the situation next year.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Jinnah Hospital CEO Professor Javed Akram said that changing faces did not yield results and systems need to be implemented for getting the desired results. He said that the world was using state-of-the-art bio-eradication and other techniques to kill the dengue mosquito, while “we are still passing through the ages-old fumigation and spraying phase”.
Akram said that a long-term strategy and modern techniques were essential to successfully eliminate dengue virus. He said that the number of patients visiting the Jinnah Hospital was constantly increasing. A medicine professor at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital said that so many dengue patients were visiting the hospital emergency that the hospital had run out of beds.
He said that concrete anti-dengue measures had not been taken in various localities for killing the dengue mosquito. Talking to Pakistan Today, newly appointed Lahore EDO (Health) Dr Umar Farooq said that he has devised a new strategy for controlling the virus in the city, including improving the vigilance, logistics and replacing the insecticide.
Farooq said that even private housing societies would be fumigated along with hostels and other public places. To a question, he said that in a couple of days, there would a visible change in incidence of dengue cases in city hospitals.