Govt oblivious to rising dengue cases in capital

  • CDA spokesperson says anti-dengue drive continuing in city effectively


ISLAMABAD: Despite the rising cases of dengue patients in the federal capital, the government seems oblivious to the looming health hazard as no tangible preventive measures have been taken so far to rein in the disease.

In the wake of the outbreak of the disease in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), hospitals in the federal capital, especially Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH) were put on high alert to prevent a possible outbreak of dengue in the city. However, nothing on the ground could be seen on part of the concerned quarters to check the soaring number of dengue patients.

According to the data obtained from FGSH, widely known as Polyclinic Hospital, during the last two weeks, a total of 33 patients were reported in the hospital out of which 16 were tested positive for dengue virus while 17 were only suspected. The data showed that 25 patients were discharged after treatment while eight patients were still admitted to the hospital.

Most of the cases were reported from the peripheries of the metropolitan such as Bhara Kahu, Bari Imam and Iqbal Town where no attention was being paid to fumigate the areas. A senior doctor at Polyclinic told Pakistan Today that the rising cases cannot be checked only through providing treatment to the patients brought to the hospitals, and all the concerned ministries and departments need to play their part proactively to control the situation before it is too late.

He also said that the surveillance system should be made effective and people coming from KP on a daily basis should be monitored accurately to prevent a possible outbreak, as the virus could be shifted from one place to another quite easily. The doctor said that most of the cases were reported from the suburbs of the federal capital because there was no effective mechanism of fumigation and no awareness campaign running in this regard.

A senior official on condition of anonymity told Pakistan Today that it was true that the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and Ministry Of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination were doing very little to curb the menace so far. He also said that the Punjab government had constituted special teams of health workers who were visiting door to door in Rawalpindi to check the hygienic condition of the area.

He further stated that the female health workers entered the houses to check the inner conditions of the houses and gave valuable tips to the householders as to how they could protect themselves from the disease, adding that even in schools in Rawalpindi children were being given informative and preventive tips against the disease.

However, he lamented, no such activities and exercises in Islamabad, especially in the hamlets, could be observed despite holding marathon meetings repeatedly which clearly showed the non-seriousness of the authorities concerned.

Capital Development Authority (CDA) spokesperson Mazhar Hussain said that the CDA anti-dengue drive continued in the city effectively. He said that last week, a high-level meeting was chaired by Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz which was attended by officials of all concerned departments.

He also said that a comprehensive plan had been hammered out, to counter the disease, which was being executed. To a question about spray in the suburbs of the city, he said that they were spraying the urban as well as rural areas of the metropolitan to curb the deadly disease.