LAHORE – Taking various decisions to check dengue, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has directed for recruiting volunteers to launch anti-dengue campaign to prevent re-eruption of the menace next season besides incorporating a chapter on this subject in the academic syllabus to equip the students with measures to deal with this problem beforehand.

He has directed every department in the province to complete preparation for controlling the possible dengue virus in the next season and for retaining a trained workforce in every district. He directed elected representatives to conduct surprise visits to educational institutions and hospitals for reviewing the steps taken for eradication of dengue and also inspect high dependency units in various hospitals.

The CM said that Punjab government took solid measures to curb dengue virus last year in the course of which, it launched a movement wherein politicians, officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and experts played an exemplary role. The CM said that every possible step is being taken for preventing the possible outbreak of dengue virus next season and not only training of the persons of concerned sectors has been arranged abroad but concerned departments have also given final shape to their preparation. He said that those got training against dengue abroad will not be transferred to any other place for one year. While directing to constitute a committee headed by Chief Secretary, the CM said that this committee should review in detail the steps taken by various departments, for eradication of dengue and submit its report within two days.

The CM said while presiding over a meeting held with regard to reviewing the preparations and steps taken for eradication of dengue in the next season at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, here Saturday. The meeting which lasted for more than three hours was attended by Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Provincial Ministers, Members National and Provincial Assemblies, Chief Secretary, IG Police, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries of various departments, senior doctors and experts.

Shahbaz Sharif said that thousands of precious lives were saved due to the strategy evolved for curbing the worst outbreak of dengue virus of the world last year and full preparations have been made for controlling the possible dengue virus next season. He said that whatever humanly possible is being done. He said that training of over 100, nurses, paramedics, family physicians and persons associated with other sectors was arranged who are performing their duties in various districts as master trainers. He said that the role of public health department in eradication of dengue and other viral diseases is of great importance and this department will also have to play its effective role during possible dengue virus in the next season. He said that this department should not only set up surveillance and effective supervisory system but also extend all possible assistance to the City District Government. He directed that a plan should also be evolved for including volunteers in the campaign against dengue virus and such volunteers be recruited as have the spirit of service to the ailing humanity in real sense. He also directed to constitute a committee headed by Shaista Malik for devising a strategy with regard to recruiting volunteers. He said that the programme of introducing a separate chapter in the syllabus for creating awareness among the students regarding dengue should be fully implemented and questions in this regard must be set in the examinations. He said that an effective awareness campaign should also be devised in consultation with concerned institutions for checking the possible outbreak of dengue virus next season. He said that Punjab has gained expertise in overcoming dengue and if other provinces want to get cooperation in this regard, Punjab is ready to assist them in the light of its experiences and Chief Secretary has already been directed to contact other provinces for this regard.

Earlier, secretaries of concerned departments gave detailed briefing with regard to departmental preparations and steps taken for eradication of dengue in the next season. Secretaries of education, health, environment, labour, social welfare, forest and higher education departments informed that all arrangements have been completed. Commissioner Lahore informed about cleanliness and other steps in the provincial metropolis. Secretary Education informed that a special campaign regarding cleanliness was launched in educational institutions from January 21 to 31 and flash cards and pamphlets were also published for teachers and students regarding awareness about dengue.