On the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif‚ the second Anti-Dengue Day was observed in the city on Sunday.
All government departments took part in this special cleanliness campaign aimed at eliminating mosquito-breeding sites and several public awareness seminars and walks were organized to celebrate the day.
Hundreds of thousands of people from different walk of life took part in a walk organised by the Sports Board Punjab as part of provincial government’s awareness campaign to eradicate dengue from the province.
Members of the national cricket and hockey teams including all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi and chief coach of hockey Akhtar Rasool were prominent among the participants.
The awareness activity was carried out separately for males and females with a theme Walk for a Cause and was led by SBP Director General Sports and Youth Affairs Usman Anwar.
This Punjab government awareness campaign was given a proper slogan by SBP, ‘Walk for a Cause’. The day was selected particularly as an Anti Dengue Day during this current spell of monsoon that has lashed the country and left all the roads and low-lying areas inundated. It was to apprise the general public to keep their homes and surroundings clean of filth and water, leaving no place for the dengue larva to flourish.
Usman Anwar led the participants right from the start from Liberty Chowk while Minister for Health Khalil Tahir Sindhu and Minister Environment Col (R) Shuja Khanzada accompanied the walkers to the finish point, that was the Hafeez Centre crossing.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health Khalil Tahir Sindhu said: “The Sports Board Punjab is doing a great job in connection with the eradication of dengue from the province and they have maximized the utilization of their efforts for the war against dengue.”
Apart from the national hockey and cricket figures, members of different NGO’s, government departments, schools, colleges and general public took part in the walk despite heavy rain which started to sprinkle the city early in the morning and kept coming down till the evening. Even the socked conditions did not keep the participants away from the walk. Throughout this anti-dengue day walk the participants showed great determination and enthusiasm.
The doctors, nurses, teachers, students from various educational departments and sportsmen were holding placards and banners to highlight need of care during the changing weather that brings with it the epidemic of dengue.
The males and females started the walk separately from Liberty Chowk and took a u-turn from Zahoor Elahi Road’s central point /Hafeez Centre returned back back to the start point. Separate routes were defined for both for the male and female walkers while Rescue 1122, Civil Defence and Police were present throughout their pathways to keep an active eye to keep the participants secure and avoid any unexpected or unethical incident.
The scouts and the volunteers remained alert with the participants on both sides of the route. In the end of the activity, the puppets and the amusers disguised in different cartoons characters’ and costumes amused the participants. The special musical arrangements were made to entertain the participants.
P&D GIVES ITS SHARE: Punjab Planning and Development (P&D) Secretary Arif Anwar Baloch said that the war against dengue had not yet finished and that efforts would continue until its complete eradication.
He said this while addressing the participants of an awareness walk to mark the Anti-Dengue Day organised by the P&D department.
The walk, led by Baloch, started from Istanbol Chowk and concluded at the P&D Building. P&D Additional Secretary Muhammad Taqi Qureshi, Sector Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, Administration Deputy Secretary and a number of other P&D employees also participated in the walk.
Baloch said that the Punjab government had saved thousands of lives by taking timely steps during the previous year, and thus Punjab’s dengue virus situation was under control. All segments of the society would have to play an effective and collective role against the virus to defeat, he added.
The P&D Department on Sunday launched an extensive drive to avert the spread of dengue mosquitoes at the P&D complex. All officers and staff members ensured their presence in the offices and also participated in the grand cleanliness drive. During the cleanliness operation to eradicate dengue larva, a special squad of the P&D department carried out the grand operation during office hours in the P&D Complex. The P&D officials inspected the store rooms, washrooms, parking stands and open spaces in and around the P&D building.
AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT AGAINST DENGUE:
About 267 hot spots out of 27,718 inspected potential dengue larvae sites were visited by 55 teams of Agriculture Department entomologists during 2013.
This was said by Punjab Agriculture Planning Additional Secretary Ahmad Ali Zafar while chairing a seminar on Anti Dengue Day at Lahore’s Agriculture House.
He added that dengue larvae had been found in 260 and 7 sites of Lahore and Failsabad, respectively.
Agriculture (Ext & AR) Director General Dr Muhammad Anjum Ali, Pest Warning Director Malik Fayyaz Ahmad, Agricultural Information Director Rafiq Akhtar, Agriculture Department Officials and large number of civil society participants were present at the seminar.
A video documentary on dengue control prepared by the Punjab Agricultural Information Directorate was also screened.
Agriculture Department Entomologist Muhammad Shehbaz delivered a comprehensive briefing about the virus’s growth, control and different stages of dengue larvae and its eradication by adopting mechanical, biological and chemical measures.
He told the attendants that 60 and 207 hotspots during the pre-season (February to July) and the active-season (July to November) had been found, respectively. Furthermore, he added that out of 12,961 spots visited during 2011, 1,898 were declared as hotspots due to the presence of dengue larvae.
Shehbaz further said that temperatures between 24 and 33C were most favorable for the virus carrying dengue mosquitoes to propagate their population.
Shehbaz added that these dengue mosquitoes could survive at temperatures as low and as high as 16 and 42C, respectively.
PUNJAB GOVT SEEKS ULEMA’S HELP AGAINST DENGUE:
Punjab Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that the religious Ulema were deeply respected by the masses, and they therefore needed to communicate the dengue virus’s protective steps to the public.
While addressing Anti-Dengue Day delegations of citizens and Ulema at his residence, Mujtaba said that the Ulema could successfully execute a dengue awareness campaign via mosques, especially during prayer hours.
He said that the Punjab government had provided an additional budgetary allotment of 19 percent budget for the provision of health services in Punjab by increasing the health budget up to Rs 102 billion.
WOMEN URGED TO KEEP HOUSES CLEAN:
MPA Rahila Khadim Hussain urged Pakistanis, especially women, to contribute towards the elimination of the dengue virus by keeping their houses clean.
Addressing a seminar on Sunday she said, “Dengue is our enemy hiding in our houses and it needs to be eradicated from our houses”. She asked the staff of all city hospitals to provide the best possible treatment to dengue patients.
RESCUE 1122 OBSERVES ANTI-DENGUE DAY: The Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 on Sunday observed Anti-Dengue Day by organising public awareness activities and preventive measures for dengue eradication in all districts of the province.
In this regard, all offices of Punjab Emergency Service all over the province remained open and rescuers held dengue awareness walks from all rescue stations to sensitise the public about the virus.
The rescue teams visited shops and residential areas to check and highlight breeding areas for dengue mosquitoes and preventive measures against it.
Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer reviewed dengue arrangements and activities in a meeting at Rescue 1122 Headquarters.
The meeting was attended by in-charges of different wings of the rescue service whereas district emergency officers of Punjab were taken on board through video conference, who shared their experiences and activities in their relevant districts.
PAMCO OBSERVES ANTI-DENGUE DAY: Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO) on Sunday observed the Anti-Dengue Day.
A dengue awareness workshop was organised at the PAMCO head office in which employees were briefed about precautionary measures to check dengue.
Later, PAMCO staff also organised a special walk on Abbot Road in which dengue awareness brochures were distributed among people.
GCU UNDERTAKES RESEARCH ON DENGUE: Government College University (GCU) Zoology Department has undertaken a research into the genetic modification of Aedes aegypti mosquito to block the transmission of dengue vector into the human beings through bite.
“Wolbachia, a genus of bacteria, would be used as a biological agent for the genetic modification of Aedes aegypti mosquito,” said Zoology Department Chairperson Prof Dr Nusrat Jahan while addressing a seminar held in connection with the Anti-Dengue Day.
She said that Wolbachia-based technology would make the mosquito incapable of carrying and transmitting dengue virus, adding that the research project was initiated in collaboration with the Michigan State University, USA.
Prof Jahan said that the genetic modification of mosquito was the only possible solution to completely eradicate dengue from Pakistan and the university researchers were working day and night on the control of dengue vector. She said that the genetic modification would take time as it was very complex process and a lot of research, but it would provide the ultimate solution to control this fatal disease.