LAHORE - The people who suffered from swine flu recently are more prone to dengue.

Alarmed over the prevailing scenario, healthcare providers have suggested research to find causes and possible solution to save people from falling prey to deadly viral diseases one after the other.  As the swine flu season has concluded but not before affecting thousands of people in the province, experts fear that they (swine flu patients) were at greater risk of falling victim to dengue.

“I have treated dozens of swine flu patients who have previously fell victim to dengue. It was not just a coincidence and there are huge possibilities of link between two viral diseases. There is dire need of research to find possible causes of people falling victim to one viral disease after the other”, said leading family physician Dr Abdul Rauf, adding, the research could help saving people from second viral infection after the first one.

“Increase in temperature has reduced cases of swine flu. But dengue season has started. Those who have recovered from swine flu now needed extra care to avoid dengue”, said Dr Rauf, running clinic in congested locality Usman Gunj.

“Yes, there is issue of people falling victim to another viral disease after the first one. Viral infection definitely affects immune system. Even after recovery from viral infection, patients are at greater risk of getting another disease, either bacterial or viral due to less resistance. Sometime people take one or even two years to get normal immunity level. During the period they are at greater risk of more diseases. Thousands of people affected by swine flu this winter are at huge risk of getting dengue due to less immunity”, said another family physician Dr Arshad Humayoun , who is also holding the office of general secretary of a family physician’s body – Family Medicine and Education Centre. He stressed the need of promoting research activities on the pattern of other countries to find out solutions of such issues.

Another family physician Dr Meer Qais seconded the viewpoint of his colleagues.

“People falling victim to more viral diseases after recovery from first infection is an issue. Apparently weak immunity after first viral infection could be the main reason. It takes a lot of time to patients to get normal immunity level after viral infection. Weak immunity put people at greater risk of getting more diseases”, said Dr Qais, who is running clinic in thickly populated area Chung. He suggested research to find real causes of people falling prey to one viral infection after the other. It would also help reaching to the possible solutions of these problems, he said.

“Unfortunately, we are not giving due importance to research. Government should provide facilities including funds to encourage research activities”, he said.  Leading expert on infectious diseases Dr Faisal Sultan also supported the arguments of family physicians, saying viral infection largely affect immune system.

“Researchers in several countries including Pakistan are trying to find possible causes of people getting another viral infection after the first one”, said Dr Faisal Sultan, who is working as Chief Executive Officer of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre since 1995.

Two-day scientific symposium starts

Minister for Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education Kh Salman Rafiq has said that IT based key performance indicators has brought a revolution in healthcare monitoring system. Addressing the inaugural session of two-day annual scientific symposium of Institute of Child Health and Children’s Hospital here on Thursday, he said that provision of good quality medical facilities to public was priority of the government.

Kh Salman said that the present regime has paid special attention to improving health sector and enhancing facilities across the province.  Earlier, Dean IPH and Children’s Hospital Prof Masood Sadiq said that the institute has become the largest treatment centre for children globally. He said that 1100 beds hospital was catering requirements not only of four provinces but also of Afghanistan. He said that all the treatment facilities were being provided free of cost. He said that the institute was providing educational & training facilities for post graduation & sub specialities. Moreover, nursing & allied health professional schools have also become centre of excellence.

Vice Chancellors of medical universities, Principal of medical colleges, senior consultant, faculty, President Pakistan Paediatric Society Prof Rai Asghar, Medical Director Prof Muhammad Saleem, former Deans of IPH and large number of doctors & nurses attended the session.  Two days symposium would conclude today (Saturday). Local & guest speakers from abroad would present their research papers & deliver lectures to the participants of technical sessions. Technical workshops would also be organised. Later Kh Salman Rafiq inaugurated the Hybrid Cathlab established in the hospital at a cost of Rs100 million.

The minister also inaugurated the newly constructed auditorium of the hospital.