MURREE: Deaths from dengue fever can be prevented, if the treatment guidelines are properly followed by the physicians as ‘late diagnosis, wrong treatment and water overload’ are main cause of deaths due to dengue fever in Pakistan, renowned physician and expert Prof. Javed Akram said on Saturday.
“People of Pakistan have to live with dengue forever now as it can’t be eradicated from our soil. What we can do is ensure that there is zero mortality due to dengue in Pakistan by following the World Health Organisation’s treatment guidelines, which have been developed by me,” Prof. Javed Akram said while delivering presidential address at the mid-summer conference of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) on Saturday.
Internal medicines experts from entire Pakistan as well as health experts from Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and several other countries are attending the three-day moot, where scientific papers are being presented on prevention and control of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, prevention of emerging infectious diseases, neurological disorders and evidence-based medicines.
Prof. Javed Akram, who is currently serving as caretaker health minister of Punjab, maintained that the data in Pakistan shows that more men were affected by the dengue as compared to women, adding that by taking preventive measures and proper treatment, people’s lives could be saved in the country.
He said around 33,000 people died due to dengue in the world last year, while the WHO says that the disease is now endemic in more than 139 countries in the WHO Regions of Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. The Americas, South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected, with Asia representing around 70 percent of the global disease burden, he added.
He informed that although most of the dengue cases can be treated at home with pain medicines, but added that in severe dengue, wrong treatment, especially fluid overload causes pulmonary edema in patients, which can cause loss of life. He thus called for training of doctors, nurses and paramedics for the proper care and treatment of dengue to save hundreds of lives.
Urging the people to take precautionary measures to prevent growth of dengue larvae in and around their homes, he said dengue is not a new disease as it came to Pakistan in early 80s through import of used tyres, which caused the first outbreak in a coastal area of Balochistan.
“Due to favourable environmental and weather conditions, dengue remains a threat to the people of Karachi for entire year, while in other areas where temperature goes below 10 degrees Celsius or above 35 degrees Celsius, its breeding stops. So in these circumstances, we need to take preventive and precautionary measures and adopt the treatment guidelines to ensure nobody dies due to dengue in Pakistan like Thailand,” he added.
PSIM Secretary General Prof. Somia Iqtidar presented the journey of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) and highlighted the aims, objectives as well as academic activities of the society and its accomplishments so far, which was very much appreciated by all those present.
The conference was addressed by caretaker Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan who said they were trying to set a direction for the coming government to provide basic and modern health facilities in Pakistan. He spoke extensively regarding their efforts to ensure provision of all the essential and non-essential medicines to the people of Pakistan.
WHO’s representative to Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala, President of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Prof. Rizwan Taj, Prof. Bilal Mohyddin, Prof. Aftab Mohsin, Prof. Tariq Waseem and others also spoke.