dengue fever in pakistan

 PM offers helping hand to Punjab govt against dengue

* Gilani stresses need for developing a national coordination mechanism for controlling epidemics like dengue fever

LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that the federal government was ready to help the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in controlling dengue virus in Punjab.

Addressing the participants of a national health conference at the State Guest House, he said that the country’s medical experts were capable of controlling the dengue virus.

The prime minister reviewed the steps being taken by the provincial government to control the spread of dengue virus in the city and other areas of Punjab.

Gilani stressed the need for developing a national coordination mechanism for controlling epidemic like dengue fever.

“Dengue virus has emerged as a challenge for the health experts,” he said, adding that the Pakistani doctors had made significant achievements in the matter. He said that the federal government stood firmly behind the provincial governments in dealing with the current and all future public health challenges.

Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, chief secretaries from all four provinces and other officials, including head of the Sri Lankan experts team, were present in the conference and briefed the participants on the issue.

The prime minister said that dengue was not only the problem of Pakistan but a global issue as more than 100 countries were facing the same situation and around 50 million people were affected by this disease annually in the world. It is imperative that technical issues are addressed in a professional manner otherwise it may lead to misinformation, chaos and confusion when such situations arise, he said.

Gilani said that dengue could be prevented by simple measures, adding that an appropriate level of public awareness was necessary to control this disease. He urged the parliamentarians and politicians to play their role in allaying fears and they should provide correct information and mobilise communities to take preventive measures.

He said that there was a need to coordinated measures to curb this menace jointly by the federal and provincial governments.

The prime minister also visited Sheikh Zayed Hospital to inquire after the health of dengue patients and presented them flowers and fruits.

The patients of dengue fever told the prime minister that they were getting free medical facilities. He expressed satisfaction over arrangements made by the hospital administration and directed it to make an all-out effort for their treatment.

Federal Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was also accompanied him. During his visit, he ordered the federal hospital’s administration to provide free treatment to dengue patients.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the prime minister had also put in place a ‘Coordination and Strategy Cell’ at federal government level.

The cell would work for resource mobilisation and harmonisation of all the efforts from federal government, provincial health departments and international partners for this purpose.

She said that the existing and future grants from international organisations working in ease prevention programme would be put at provinces’ disposal through this platform. staff report/agencies

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