KARACHI:- Around 150 cases of dengue have been reported this year so far, but without any casualties.

Dengue fever is a global threat, faced by 193 countries in the world. Therefore global strategy is needed for its elimination.  Dengue virus can’t be controlled by doctors alone, but experts of different disciplines, including microbiologists and scientists must be taken on board for its control and surveillance.

This were the views expressed by Professor Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Vice Chancellor Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education while speaking at a programme entitled, ‘Prevention and Control Programme for Dengue’, organised by Health Department, Government of Sindh at a local hotel on Wednesday.

Briefing the audience about the history of dengue cases in the country, she said that the first case was reported in 1994. “Around 145 casualties occurred between 1994 and 1995 due to the disease. The most affected areas in Karachi are Orangi Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, New Karachi, Clifton Cantonment and Saddar,” she informed. She disclosed that around 2.5 billion people in the world risked contracting dengue fever and 100 million were affected from it every year.

“These infections often come from different containers coming to the country for trade purposes, having mosquitoes with them,” she said, and added, “Students are also exposed to the ailment as mosquitoes, often hidden under their desks and tables in the classrooms, attack them.

This is especially true about school going children who easily fall prey to the virus.”

Elaborating further, Shahana said that fresh and stagnant water was the breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. “Around 20 percent of people affected from dengue virus could die if not properly treated and diagnosed in time,” she said, and added, “Children, gardeners, tourists, travelers and pregnant women are at higher risk of catching the virus.” 

Shahana called for the establishment of a central center for the control of vector- bone diseases and offered Dadabhoy University’s space, scientists and equipment for the purpose. She stressed that surveillance and research on dengue virus must go on whole year. The chief guest, Director General (DG) Health Sindh Dr Muhammad Taufiq, in his address, appreciated and welcomed the suggestion and directed the deputy director to work on it.