KARACHI: Dengue is an endemic in 110 countries, including Pakistan. This year some 2,703 cases have been registered in Sindh so far, of them seven could not survive.
This was stated by Dr Maqsood Ahmed Ahmed Solangi, the Project Director of Prevention and Control Programme for Dengue in Sindh while giving presentation to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by chief secretary Siddique Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui, Health secretary Saeed Mangnejo, Administrator KMC Sajjad Abbasi and others.
He said that dengue is endemic in more than 110 countries. It infects about 528 million people every year all over the world, of them 25000 deaths are reported every year.
Secretary Health Saeed Mangnejo said that rate of dengue increased 30 times between 1960 to 2010 due to combination of urbanisation, population growth, increased international travels and global warming.
He said that dengue has also gripped Pakistan with an unprecedented intensity and magnitude from last few years. “The first case was reported in 1994 and in 1995 there was an outbreak in Karachi where 145 cases were admitted in the hospital and of them one died,” he said.
Mangnejo said that in 2005-6 more than 3,640 patients were admitted in different hospitals all over the country. As a result, 40 died, among the dead 37 were from Sindh. “Later, in 2010 it swelled to 4,072 in Sindh and 5,400 in Punjab. In 2011 Punjab faced worst type of epidemic with 21,000 cases and 350 deaths while in Sindh the cases dropped from 1079 in 2011 to 734 in 2012,” he said.
The PD of Dengue Programme, Dr Solangi said that in 2013 the number of dengue cases increased in the country in 2013. Sindh was were on the higher side. 5970 cases were reported from Sindh with 32.
Giving breakup of the cases Dr Solnagi told the chief minister that over all 2703 cases have been reported from 12 districts of the province this year. 2639 in Karachi, 24 in Hyderabad, three Thatta, seven Mirpurkhas, seven Umerkot, two Sanghar, three Sukkur, three Ghotki, four Shaheed Benazirabad, nine Larkana and each one in Shikarpur and Jacobabad.
Replying to a question of the chief minister the secretary Health Dr Saeed said that the peak season for Dengue starts from September 1 to November 15 every year. “We started fumigation drive and masses awareness campaign from May 2015,” he said.
Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui said that there were 650 nalas (drains) in the city, of the 30belong to KMC and DMCs. “The nalas have been fumigated with spray but this year the drive is slow and it is not well coordinated,” he said.
The chief minister said that he had received complaints of using expired chemicals in the fumigation spray. “This is a serious negligence and I cannot tolerate it. This is the question of life and death of the citizen and I would not allow anybody to play with them,” he said and directed the chief secretary to constitute an inquiry committee and report him.
The chief minister further said that this year the reported cases are higher than the last year. “I am not satisfied with the preventive measures. These must be stepped up and keep this house (CM House) informed on daily basis,” he said and directed his Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo to personally keep in touch with district administration of all the districts and get them their progress reports.
The chief minister also emphasized on the need of launching a vigorous awareness campaign through print and electronic media.