LAHORE: Influenza is spreading in different areas of Pakistan, causing an increase in death rate. The Punjab government is taking steps to check spread of influenza and providing free vaccine in government hospitals. Pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, children under 2 years of age and those who have less immunity system mostly suffer from this disease. Its symptoms include high fever, headache, cough, sneezing, and severe pain in the body, said speakers at a seminar “Mousami Influenza - Bachao Kaisay”.
The seminar was organised by Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS) (Jang Group of Newspapers) and Punjab Healthcare Commission. Dr Muhammad Ajmal, chief operating officer, Punjab Healthcare Commission, chaired the conference. Khawaja Imran Nazir, Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Punjab, and Ali Jan Khan, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, were chief guests. Professor Dr Saqib Saeed, Head of TB Department, King Edward Medical University and Mayo Hospital Lahore, Dr Akhtar Rasheed, DG Health, Professor Dr Riaz Ahmad Tasneem, Director Complaints PHC, Dr Riaz Ch, PHC, Professor Dr Soulat Mirza, ex-professor, PGMI, Dr Yadullah, CO Lahore, Dr Tariq Mian, president Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, Dr Anwar Janjua, Director Licensing, PHC and Javaid Iqbal, cartoonist, were guests of honor at the conference. Wasif Nagi, pride of performance, hosted the event. Marghoob Hamdani recited Holy Quran and Naat Rasool-e-Maqbool (PBUH)
Dr Ajmal Khan said Punjab Healthcare Commission was established as healthcare regulatory body in 2010. Lesser people know that even Saarc countries have not such body. Establishment of this body had four purposes. All organisations of doctors cooperated for its establishment and after struggle of nine months, an act was formed. Pakistan had not such standard before. “Till now, almost 39,500 organisations have been registered. PHC has state-of-the-art data that is a matter of pride,” he added. Khawaja Imran Nazir said PHC is doing great work. “If this quack system has been eliminated earlier from the country, the conditions would have changed today. Main focus of Primary and Secondary Healthcare is precautionary measures. Hepatitis ordinance has been introduced. NCD programme has been started in Pakistan for the first time. Now prisoners in jail will be screened. First case of swine flu was reported on August 23. Awareness advertisements are being posted in newspapers. Flu vaccine has been provided to the hospitals,” the minister said.
Ali Jan Khan said that this conference has been organised on a very important topic. Wasif Nagi said the Punjab government is working much. He paid tribute to Dr Ajmal and said that under his guidance, department is doing very well. Professor Dr Saqib Saeed explained through presentation that influenza virus came in 2009. “Flu has an old history. It came in Spain in 1918. We should not avoid taking precautionary measures. We should use tissue or handkerchief while sneezing. We should wash our hands with warm water for about 15 minutes. Viral pneumonia affects both lungs badly,” he said.
Sohail Warraich said influenza has become fatal disease after dengue. Many successful experiments have been done. Now instead of doing more new experiments, we should adopt the successful one, he said.
Javaid Iqbal said that free vaccination is being provided to people. We should spread awareness through mosques, he added. Dr Tariq Mian said whole family gets affected because of dialysis patient. In our country, patients don’t go to doctors. Professor Dr Soulat Ullah said swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by viruses and 10 out of 100 people are suffering from respiratory diseases. Dr Akhtar Rasheed said awareness advertisements are being published in newspapers for people.
“This disease is getting severe. We all have to fight against it. We also need to change our behaviors,” he added. Dr Yadullah said swine flu vaccine has been provided to all hospitals. Dr Riaz Ahmad Tasneem thanked the experts. He said every person should do his duty and all organisations should also play their role in this regard.