Rs275m approved for dengue control programme

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah approved Rs275 million for a three-year dengue control and prevention programme on Thursday, officials said.

The dengue control programme, previously called dengue monitoring cell, had been denied funds for its effective running for three years, making it unable to pay bills to its contractors and salaries to its employees.

Presiding over a meeting at CM House, Mr Shah approved Rs274.982 million for the programme. Minister for finance and energy Syed Murad Ali Shah, health minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, chief secretary Siddique Memon and other relevant officials attended the meeting.

Health secretary Saeed Mangnajo said the first major outbreak in Pakistan occurred in 2010 when 4,072 cases were reported in Sindh and 5,400 in Punjab. In 2011, Punjab faced the worst type of epidemic with 21,000 cases and 350 deaths while in Sindh the reported cases were 1,079 with 18 deaths.

Last year 3,692 cases and 11 deaths were reported in Sindh while in Punjab more than 5,000 cases were reported with 40 deaths. He said the Punjab government had launched a full-fledged dengue programme in 2010. The Sindh health department had controlled dengue to some extent, but a separate dengue control programme was needed.

The secretary said that from January 2106 to February 24, some 217 dengue cases were reported in Karachi, of which 132 were admitted to hospitals and 85 were treated in outpatient departments. One patient each was admitted to Hyderabad and Benazirabad divisions. “No death has occurred so far this year,” he said.

Giving data from 2010 to 2016, he said 17,039 dengue cases were reported in Sindh, of which 106 died. In 2010 some 4,072 cases were reported, of which 25 died with a fatality rate of 0.6 per cent. In 2011 the fatality ratio increased to 1.6pc with 1,079 dengue cases, of which 18 died.

“The health department took some steps and launched an awareness drive, as a result of which 2012 recorded only 731 cases with four deaths and 0.5pc fatality ratio. In 2013, the number of dengue cases rose to 5,970 with 32 deaths but the fatality ratio of 2012 (0.5pc) remained the same. In 2014, though the number of dengue cases came down to 1,276, deaths were 16, thus the fatality rate climbed to 1.2pc. In 2015, the number of cases increased to 3,692, of which 11 patients died, lowering the fatality rate to 0.2pc.

CM Shah approved Rs274.982 million for effectively running the dengue prevention and control programme. Under the programme active surveillance by collecting data from all public and private hospitals would be conducted, isolation wards in all government hospitals would be established, eight cell separator machines would be installed in all tertiary care hospitals, dengue diagnostic kits and platelet mega units would be provided to all government hospitals. From next year, the meeting was told, the programme would be a part of the annual development programme.

120 schemes worth Rs13bn

Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar told the meeting that 120 schemes in the health department had been launched for Rs13 billion. Some 86 of them were ongoing and the remaining 34 were new schemes.

He said the schemes likely to be completed by June 30 included the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Accident Emergency and Ancillary Services Complex at the Civil Hospital Karachi for Rs6082.9m, construction of a neuroscience complex at the CMCH Larkana for Rs214.63m, upgrading of the surgery department of the CMCH Larkana for Rs143.23m, strengthening of the Services Hospital Karachi for Rs162.477m, expansion of urban health centres (Malir, Keamari, Korangi) for Rs367.99m, establishment of allied facilities for the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences for Rs478.26m, establishment of paediatric centre in Mirpurkhas for Rs112.946m, upgrading of the rural health centre to taluka headquarters hospital (THQ) in Mirwah, Mirpurkhas district, Rs119.97m, renovation and rehabilitation of the paramedical institute Larkana, Rs67.73m, provision of additional facilities in the RHCs at Naudero, Larkana district, for Rs133.4m, upgrade of the MCH centre to the BHU level at Lutfullah Panhwar village, Naushahro Feroze district, Rs18.12m, upgrade of taluka hospitals to district headquarters (DHQ) hospitals in Tando Mohamamd Khan, Tado Allahyar and Jamshoro for Rs1.5 billion, and expansion of the DHQ hospitals in Shikarpur, Badin and Khairpur.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2016

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