As the temperature is falling, the numbers of mosquitoes are increasing. And stagnant water everywhere offers best breeding places for Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmit the viruses that cause dengue fever. Dengue fever is spreading rapidly in the rural areas of Peshawar district where at least 1,200 cases have been confirmed. The spread rate of the fever is increasing to epidemic levels. The lack of joint efforts by all the relevant departments, ignorance of the people and laziness of the government agencies even when the health department issued a timely advisory are the reasons for the spread of the fever.

How come that the relevant departments failed to take any protection measures in these days when summer is receding and giving way to an ideal environment for the breeding of dengue-carrying larvae. The Director-General (DG) Health Services Dr Arshad Ahmed Khan has no guilt at all. He tried to convince the source by saying that in a city of four million people, some 500 cases are not alarming at all. Such a statement is nothing but the epitome of callousness. However, to be fair to DG Health Services, it is true that the health department alone cannot eradicate dengue. Establishing inter-sectors coordination is the key to prevent the fever from spreading.

Furthermore, the authorities’ request for more funds should not be turned down. The government should allocate enough resources to the health facilities high-risk rural areas. Likewise, running a public awareness drive on protection measures is one emergency step that is the need of the hour. Mobilizing local communities and activating local leadership with the active participation of government departments should be the key strategy of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to prevent the disease from spreading. The government can no longer brush the issue under the carpet.