Awareness drive asked against dengue, naegleria


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) to take necessary measures to start chlorination of water in the vulnerable areas located out of water board limits and also launch awareness campaign against Dengue and Naegleria.

These directives he issued here while presiding over a joint meeting of Health department, KWSB and KMC to evolve strategy to combat the menace of dengue and Naegleria.

The chief minister said that he had reports that water samples collected from different localities and areas of the city had no chlorination. “This is unbelievable and needs to be checked thoroughly,” he said.

Minister for Health Jam Mehtab Dahar said that on the directives of the chief minister he had inspected the entire water supply system from Dhabeji to the main conduit. “This is a fact that KWSB mixes chlorine in water a little higher than the prescribed doze but the long water supply pipelines which are very old and have leaked from different spots,” he said and added “The chlorine evaporates when chlorinated water is exposed to oxygen. This is why the chlorinated water samples collected from different areas showed negative results,” he said.

Commissioner Karachi & Administrator KMC Shoaib Siddiqui said that under the directives of the chief minister in 2013 drastic measures were taken to control dengue in the city. “The government had given special trainings to the doctors and para-medical staff to deal with the dengue patients. Nets were made available in the hospitals and isolated wards were designated. Awareness campaign was launched by involving civil society, DHA, CAA and cantonments. As a result, the situation was controlled,” he said and added that it was the health department which framed dengue control/prevention rules and appointed inspectors who started inspecting vulnerable spots/houses and areas.

MD KWSB Mr Hashim Raza Zaidi endorsing the views of health minister told the chief minister that he had developed 18 chlorination booster spots so that the chlorination losses caused by evaporation could be controlled. “A bottle of Sodium Hypo Chloride which costs around Rs17 is enough for a month to chloride water in a house but this needs to be publicized,” he said.

Zaidi further said that KWSB spends Rs130 million on the purchase of chlorine every month. “We purchase containers each one of of 900 kg and it is properly mixed in the water being supplied in the city,” he said.

The chief minister told him that he has zero tolerance as far as chlorination of water is concerned. “I would suggest you to assign chlorination job to honest and dedicated officers. I would not compromise on this issue. Health is wealth and this city has already suffered a lot,” he said categorically.

Secretary Health Saeed Mangnijo told the meeting that the Dengue has claimed three lives and Naegleria 9 during the first seven months of this year. Out of 9 Naegleria caused deaths, one patient came here from Thatta, one from Umerkot and one from Balochistan and remaining six belonged to Karachi.

The chief minister directed the KWSB and KMC to start fumigation, launch awareness campaign against dengue and Naegleria and also directed KWSB to reach the areas which were out of their official limits, means outskirt areas, slum and katchi abadis. “