May 29, 2023

Punjab’s healthcare emergency

Representational Picture: Rally for the Right to Health in Pakistan. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Dengue fever is the most rapidly transmitted disease from mosquitoes worldwide and is the result of four types of dengue viruses. Dengue cases are also increasing in different cities of Pakistan at present. It is estimated that 400 million people worldwide are infected with dengue every year, of which 96 million fell sick.

Dengue fever is caused by the bite of Aedes mosquito, which is itself infected with the dengue virus and transmits the virus to the blood after the bite. But the disease cannot spread directly from one person to another.

Symptoms of dengue usually appear 4 to 6 days after the illness and usually last for 10 days. These symptoms include sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, severe pain in joints and muscles, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, itchy skin (which occurs within 2 to 5 days after the onset of fever) and slight bleeding. Nose, gums or scratching easily) are notable. Symptoms are often mild and are thought to be the result of a flu or other viral infection.

In addition, the patient complains of nausea and vomiting, red marks on the body and bleeding from the gums or nose. This disease attacks the white blood cells and slowly begins to inactivate them and also cause pain in the joints. In this disease, the patients experience severe pain in the muscles and joints of the back and legs. In the early stages of dengue fever, the skin also gets scratched and the skin starts to become rough. When dengue fever reaches its peak, the patient begins to bleed from the nose and gums. Dengue can be transmitted from a patient to another person through a mosquito.

Dengue cases in Punjab are increasing with each passing day due to which the space for patients in the hospitals is getting less, but the Punjab government is promising all the best.

It is pertinent to mention that after the outbreak of Coronavirus in Pakistan, the government had launched a smart lockdown which was accepted globally. However, increasing cases of dengue have created difficulties for the provincial government to control. Much effort is being made to contain the rising dengue cases.

Regarding how the government is tackling dengue epidemic, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Punjab Imran Sikandar Baloch says the health department is conducting operations across the province to eradicate dengue larvae and stop its growth.

According to him, precautionary measures against dengue are very important in monsoon. “Citizens should show more responsibility to prevent dengue during the monsoon. Because dengue is more prevalent in the monsoon, especially rainwater should not accumulate in residential areas,” he insists.

He further says teams of Punjab Health Department checked 421,151 indoor places across Punjab and in one day, health department teams across Punjab inspected 90,230 outdoor places.

The secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Punjab also appealed to the people to take precautionary measures against dengue along with coronavirus. He appealed to all the religious scholars of Punjab to inform the worshipers who come to the mosques about the prevention of dengue.

“People must prove themselves as responsible citizens and keep their surroundings clean and do not let the water accumulate inside or outside the house as the dengue mosquito breeding can be prevented by taking care of hygiene,” he adds.

Health Department spokesman Hamad Raza maintains Punjab Health Department is working tirelessly to control the dengue epidemic alongside coronavirus and ensure the treatment of patients.

“On the direction of Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, in view of the growing extraordinary number of patients in the province including Lahore, treatment arrangements have been increased in all hospitals across the province,” he says.

“The number of wards and beds in the hospitals has been increased and holidays of doctors and paramedical staff have also been canceled, while DCs and health officials were also on alert to take care of the arrangements for providing facilities to the dengue patients in the hospitals. Strict action will be taken against any negligence in this matter.”

Hammad Raza went on to say that the reasons for Lahore become the center of dengue were being investigated and if dengue spreads due to lack of monitoring, action will be taken against those responsible.

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