President orders restructuring of malaria control programme

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President Asif Ali Zardari ordered restructuring of Sindh’s malaria control programme on Wednesday to strengthen the management and monitoring of dengue and malaria in the province. During a briefing at the Bilawal House on dengue in the aftermath of floods in the province, Zardari stressed the need for capacity-building of medics for clinical management of dengue. Talking to the media after the meeting, Presidential Office spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president has directed that plans be drawn for a permanent solution to tackle dengue and other monsoon-borne diseases as “we may have to learn to live with the heavy rains and floods due to global climatic changes.”
Babar said the briefing was informed that the Sindh government has already nominated provincial and district focal persons for dengue, and a surveillance centre with a designated officer has also been set up in every district of the province. Moreover, he said, major private hospitals have also been integrated with the provincial dengue cell for regular reporting of dengue cases. The City District Government Karachi has started fumigation for malaria and dengue fever, and instructions have been issued to district coordination officers for carrying out fumigation in their respective districts, he added.
He said the president has called for identifying ‘hot spots’ for dengue virus in the light of past experience, and has directed that special measures be taken to prevent dengue outbreak in those areas.
The participants of the meeting were directed that additional fogging vehicles be procured urgently to make the fumigation drive more effective, he added.
The spokesman said Zardari thanked the Sir Lankan high commissioner, who had also attended the meeting, and the medical team of Sri Lanka for their help.
During the course of the moot, it was decided to plant more neem trees in Karachi as a long-term measure because it is a natural mosquito repellent, he added.
He said the president had earlier spent some time in the special flood control room at the Bilawal House and monitored the relief work in Khairpur and Shaheed Benazirabad districts.
Zardari directed the National Database and Registration Authority chairman to issue ‘Pakistan Cards’ to the flood survivors within a week to streamline the distribution of relief goods in a transparent manner, he added.
Member National Assembly (MNA) Nafeesa Shah in Khairpur and MNA Azra Fazal Peechoho in Shaheed Benazirabad along with members provincial assembly and district officials were also present in their respective district’s control rooms to brief the president.
Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah was also present at the CM House’s control room during the monitoring exercise.

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