Coping with the threat of dengue virus

It is in the fitness of things that the KP government is showing due awareness about seasonal diseases. The other day the Chief Secretary of the province, Dr Kazim Niaz held a special meeting of health officials. The Secretary Health Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah told the participants of the meeting that the necessary precautionary measures were being taken against the threat of the dengue virus.

He said that special attention was being paid to 11 districts. In the south, these included Kohat, Bannu and Kurram. Similarly, towards the north, there were the districts of Mansehra, Battagram and Swat. Between these two extremes, there were the districts of Khyber, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan and Haripur. In these districts, homes, streets and localities were being sprayed with anti-dengue solutions. There was sufficient stock of required medicines.

Moreover, isolation wards for the dengue patients had been set up. These wards have been set up in all the Medical Teaching Institutes (MTIs), District Headquarters Hospitals (DHQs) and Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals (THQs). As far as the precautionary measures are concerned, these sound sweet to the ears in the power-point presentation sessions on large LED screens. But when the virus actually breaks out, the administration has to face a panic-like situation.

A few years back, when the dengue virus got out of hand in Peshawar, the then KP government had to seek help from Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who happened to be the chief minister of Punjab. Here the punchline is clear. The pageantry and grandeur of the guns is alright, but their real test comes when the war breaks out.