KP Declares Dengue Health Emergency

Posted September 7th, 2017 at 8:20 pm (UTC+0)
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Written by Niala Mohammad

Dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti. (Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Seventeen- year old Shahabuddin died of Dengue Virus in Sherpao Hospital in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa today, he is the 18th person in the province to have died from the mosquito borne virus since July this year.

The Health Ministry of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has declared a public health emergency and has been aggressively tackling the issue by setting up screening wards within major hospitals and Basic Health Units (BHU’s) to catch and curb Dengue Virus, free of cost to patients.

VOA Deewa’s Dr. Saima Asghar said that there is no cure for Dengue Virus, but the side effects of the virus can prove deadly if not treated with care. Currently doctors can only screen for the disease and provide patients with relief from the side effects caused by the virus such as severe dehydration, loss of blood, and fever.

Till date over 13,000 people have been screened for the virus, with over 2,000 testing positive for Dengue. The provincial health ministry, quoted  over 300 suspected cases of Dengue Virus were admitted to the hospital just within the last 24 hours.

KP Provincial Minster of Health Shahram Khan Tarakai says that the issue is being taken very seriously and efforts are being made to create awareness about the severity the disease. Health Minister Shahram Khan told VOA Deewa, “our goal is to make people aware of the seriousness of this virus and show our commitment to eradicate it.”.

Shahram Khan stated that, World Health Organization (WHO) international standards are being applied to counter the spread of the virus.

The WHO country office in Pakistan is said to be providing technical support to the Government of Pakistan in its response to the epidemic of dengue fever. WHO stated that they are committed to providing-“technical support, guidelines and capacity-building for planning and implementation in all three areas of prevention and control of dengue fever: vector control, case management and community awareness.” WHO is providing support to three provinces in Pakistan facing the epidemic, namely Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

Dr. Mujib ur Rehman who works with a Dengue Awareness Unit in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa told VOA Deewa that locals should take preventative measures by keeping artificial water containers covered, using mosquito nets, and applying bug repellent sprays to body. He also suyggested wearing covered clothing to help prevent getting bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Currently there are 1,797 suspected cases in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province being treated at Khyber Teaching Hospital (also referred to as Sherpao Hospital), Lady Reading Hospital, and Hayatabad Medical Complex for the Dengue virus.




Contributors:  Dr. Saima Asghar (VOA Deewa Health Reporter), Ibrahim Shinwari (VOA Deewa Reporter-FATA), Hameedullah Khan (VOA Deewa Reporter-Peshawar), Hashim Ali (VOA Deewa Cameraman), Dawood Jabarkhel (VOA Deewa Reporter-Peshawar)



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