Cabinet committee reviews dengue surveillance strategy

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Salim Ahmed

Punjab Minister for Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique has directed the departments concerned to pay special attention to dengue surveillance at graveyards, junkyards, tyre-shops and godowns.
He was presiding over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Dengue, along with Minister for Primary & Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, at the Committee Room, Civil Secretariat, here on Monday. He asked the technical experts to update the guidelines for field staff according to the climatic effects on the dengue.
Additional Chief Secretary Shumail Ahmad Khawaja directed the districts that under reporting regarding dengue larvae should not be made. He said that larvae reporting is an indicator that the field teams are working properly. He directed the deputy commissioners to carry out third-party assessment of indoor and outdoor surveillance in their respective districts.
Prof Faisal Masood told the meeting that during the rainy season, Gujranwala district may become hotspot of dengue. Therefore, special attention must be paid to dengue surveillance there. He said that dengue larvae reporting from semi-urban areas indicated that mosquitoes were changing life patterns.
In-charge Chief Minister Dengue Research Cell Prof Wasim Akram disclosed that dengue larvae had been caught from the water accumulated in big tree holes; therefore, instructions should be issued to the field staff for special checking of such trees to eliminate the dengue breading sites.
Kh Salman Rafiq directed that the duty roaster for Eid holidays should be prepared and duties of field staff be assigned in rotation.
He said that a large number of population would visit graveyards on Eid; therefore, dengue sweeping in graveyards must be completed before Eid.
Similarly, big gatherings of Eid prayers would be held in masajid and open grounds; therefore, special cleanliness drive should be carried out on such places.
Kh Imran Nazir directed the CEOs District Health Authorities to ensure appropriate dengue indoor and outdoor surveillance in their respective districts. He warned that no leniency would be tolerated in this regard.