Can Sri Lankan experts on dengue save the day?


On the invitation of the Punjab chief minister, a 12-member team of dengue experts from Sri Lanka held a detailed session of discussion and briefing with the high-ups of Punjab Health Department at the Institute of Public Health on Thursday.
Punjab Health Secretary Jahanzeb Khan and Health Services DG Dr Aslam Chaudhry briefed the meeting dengue statistics. They said that the first dengue case surfaced in Punjab in 2003 and now this number had risen up to 4,989. Maximum number of dengue patients had been detected in Lahore, where residents of Gulberg Town were worst hit with 19 percent patients infected with this virus. Similarly, 75 percent patients belonged to 15 to 50 years of age while male to female ratio was 70 to 30. They informed the meeting that the Punjab chief minister had taken up the issue on war-footings and had involved elected representatives and the civil society to meet this challenge. Punjab Health Department had been given more resources and now thermal spray would start from September 16 (today), they concluded. Head of Sri Lankan Team Dr Hasitha Tissera said that on the Punjab CM’s request, Sri Lankan president took a quick action. He said that they had been facing this problem from the last 30 years and now they were here to share their expertise. He said that now it was possible to control dengue and the CM’s spirit could help overcome this problem. IPH Dean Dr Yaqub Qazi, Dr Faisal Masood and Dr Javed Akram also addressed the sessions and gave a number of proposals to counter dengue virus on a permanent basis.