Description of the disaster
A total of 19, 296 dengue positive cases were confirmed and reported to Government Hospitals of Pakistan in October 2019. More than 30 deaths were reported in September 2019 by Federal Disease Surveillance and Response Unit from Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division – National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad. Based on the case trend, daily 365 new cases in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were expected in Government Hospitals until January 2020. Severity of the outbreak was seen by the number of positive cases only in fifteen days i.e. 9,403 cases, with high percentage (51 per cent) of cases reported in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. However, the number of cases significantly dropped post November 2019, due to change in weather. The PRCS and IFRC was warned by the Directorate of Malaria Control (DoMC), Ministry of Health about the dengue outbreak in the twin cities. Community awareness and sensitization about dengue prevalence was a critical need at that point, for which Health Department sought PRCS support, considering their acceptability, presence and effective response capacity across the country. Distribution of free of cost, preventive and protective material were the main hallmark of this support, which included mosquito repellents, Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs)s and blood screening by skilled health care workers. PRCS immediately responded to the Health Departments request and implemented DREF in the identified risk areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, with the aim to sensitize the affected community and timely diagnose them for referral to hospitals. By end of operation, a total 28,823 households (224,333 people) were supported through the Dengue Outbreak DREF interventions.