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September 24, 2019

Hospitals told to cancel staff leaves over dengue outbreak


September 24, 2019

Islamabad : The national health services ministry has sprung into action after seeing dengue fever reach epidemic proportions in the federal capital and the adjoining Rawalpindi city.

While establishing the Dengue Control and Operation Room, the ministry, which oversees Islamabad’s health care system in the post-devolution regime, has formally asked the city’s major government hospitals, including PIMS and Polyclinic, to keep the facility posted on the people they admit for the treatment of the mosquito-borne disease, which has claimed six lives in the two cities during the last one week.

The control room will function in three shifts daily with National Coordinator for Global Fund to Manage HIV, TB and Malaria Control Dr Rana Safdar acting as its in charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, director general (population) Dr Shahid Hanif from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m and director general (technical) Dr Nasser Mohiuddin from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Having one officer and two support staff at their disposal, the control room heads have been told to keep a close liaison with Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority chairman Dr Hassan Zaheer to ensure blood availability and maintain stock records of local blood banks. Two hotlines (051-9212601 and 051-9216890) will work round the clock with doctors responding to the people’s question on dengue.

The ministry has asked the district health officer to provide the control room with dengue patient records from ICT’s private hospitals and the government hospital focal persons from own facilities for necessary action.

In order to ‘take on’ any emergency as declared in the formal communications, the offices of the heads of the ministry’s all departments will remain open round the clock, while all hospital and department heads and DHO will go on leave only after seeking the secretary’s permission.

Also, the ministry has ordered PIMS and Polyclinic to cancel the leaves of medical officers and laboratory staff and ‘concentrate on dengue wards and tests and keep a close liaison with the IBTA, while the DHO has been told to create public awareness of dengue prevention with the help of hospitals.

A health ministry official told 'The News' that the National Institute of Health was sharing the latest dengue-related numbers with the people on a daily basis through its official website, while a study would be carried out to ascertain the reasons for dengue outbreak.

He said private hospitals had promised to allocate 1,000 beds for dengue patients and offer free treatment if the government’s health centres struggled to manage the patient influx.

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