Sunday September 24, 2023

Dengue danger

By Editorial Board
August 14, 2022

Even as Covid poses a renewed threat, a new risk of a dengue outbreak is being faced in parts of the country. According to figures available so far in Rawalpindi, there have already been a few deaths as well as hospitalizations of patients suffering from dengue. There is also a fear that dengue cases may rise in Lahore, following rains and stagnant water collected in various quarters. We hope however that this year, preparations for the outbreak are far better than what was seen last year, especially in Punjab. This means spreading awareness amongst people about using mosquito nets and mosquito repellents while outdoors and most important of all ensuring no water is left standing in homes whether inside or outside. Spraying by the government is also important and must take place to kill the larvae of the black and white striped mosquito which causes dengue. We should also remember that mosquitoes are also factors for other diseases including malaria, the Zika virus, and other illnesses.

A dengue outbreak would be a disaster for health authorities and health resources in the country which are already overburdened with not enough medical facilities to serve a large population. For this reason, we hope that in Rawalpindi and in other parts of the Punjab, the new government in the province will act quickly to stop the virus in its stride and prevent it from claiming more victims or reaching the proportion that it did in 2021. We are a country that has become familiar with dengue. But, unlike many other countries in the world which fall within the dengue belt, we have not been able to tackle or eliminate the disease from our lives. All this calls for a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenge of containing the spread of dengue. The federal and provincial governments must chalk out a plan for fumigation at a large scale across the country. With the Covid-19 pandemic still not over, the people of Pakistan cannot be left at the mercy of dengue fever. Proper database management at the national and provincial level will greatly help in tackling the issue. Any negligence will cost us dearly.