A posh epidemic

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Despite 65 percent of the city’s dengue cases emerging from posh areas, DHA, Cantonment, Gulberg and Model Town administrations are yet to come up with a three-pronged strategy to control the dengue epidemic. Sources in CDGL told Pakistan Today that anti-larva spray, fumigation of liquid pesticide with diesel and fogging with powdered pesticide accounted for the three-pronged strategy internationally used to kill dengue mosquitoes in grassy lands, green-belts, lawns, fountains, lakes and high tree density sites; ideal spots for dengue mosquitoes breeding.
Sources said during a meeting with the CM some days back the issue of how to motivate administrations of the mentioned societies to adopt the SOPs was raised. A light exercise was also carried out to collaborate with the DHA and Cantonment boards. However, sources said all efforts went in vain. A health department senior official said the epidemic would persist till anti-larva spray was done to destroy dengue from its origin. “Fogging, which is the main focus of anti-dengue operations in posh localities, works for a few hours and only kills those dengue mosquitoes present in the air. Fogging never affects mosquitoes sitting in the grass and stagnant water,” he added. Recently, Punjab Health Director-General (DG) Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam said among all dengue cases, 65 percent were reported in the four posh localities of the city. Aslam said Gulberg, Model Town, Cantonment and Defence had been the most vulnerable to dengue this year.
Aslam said the dengue virus had emerged two months before its season this year, owing to changing weather. DHA spokesman Tajamul Hussain said DHA was spraying and fogging at full throttle. “The third round will commence from September 9 and culminate on September 30,” he added. DHA constituted 11 teams in this regard: three teams would focus on educational institutions, one team on the green belts, and the rest of them will deal with the residential areas, he said. Walton Cantonment Board Sanitation Chief Inspector Fiaz Shabir said the WCB had only been fumigating instead of also applying other methods, adding that fogging would work everywhere. In collaboration with CDGL on August 23, 27 and September 3, they used four fogging machines and made many rounds of fumigation. However, unless the public changed its behaviour and desisted from allowing water to stagnate in their houses, fumigation was useless, Fiaz said.
Model Town Resident Association President Amir Azam Bakhat said besides the parks located in every block, roads in K, P, E blocks had been dug up for six months, and since the onset of monsoons these places were consistently filled with water and exacerbating the problem, he added. He blamed the administration for turning a blind eye towards the issue.

1 COMMENT

  1. i dont think they can control this without the use of potent aerial sprays nationwide, and a large scale public awareness campaign on the print and elec. media about the dangers of dengue, and how DHF and DSS can lead to death, if the ignorant patient does not re-hydrate him/herself intravenously and timely. Unfortunately, an alarmingly large no. of people show up in hospital when they have reached a critical stage in disease progression, and platelet therapy is then the only answer. One dose of platelets is extracted after rigorous centrifugation, a process costing at least 13000 Rs. per procedure, and only available in very few locations in even major cities like Lahore. In Pakistan, we have very few hospitals to counter an epidemic like this, and the government will ultimately have to set up dengue camps throughout the country, and call in the already exhausted and heavily overburdened doctors in the fields. Also, the WHO will have to be called in. It greatly adds to the frustration of doctors when they encounter patients critically ill with dengue, since individual caution could have prevented them from contracting it. But alas, the illiteracy, which is even exhibited when some of our so called "elite" and "literate, distinguished" come to the hospital, is a nuisance we must, as educated and serious professionals, learn to live with in this country. God grant us a leadership, before Judgement Day, to address our problems seriously and honestly.

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