OUR STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD - Teachers role is vital in raising awareness among school-going children on dengue fever, its symptoms, control and prevention. Teachers are a great influence on the students and are role models for them; hence they can spread the message on dengue prevention and control most effectively and reach a large number of households. These were the views shared by the World Health Organisation and Capital Development Authority dengue experts while addressing a one day Dengue Fever Orientation Training for School Teachers at the Islamabad Model school here WHO in collaboration with Capital Development Authoritys Health services department organized a one day Dengue Fever Orientation Training for School Teachers at the Islamabad Model school here. In order to counter a general lack of awareness on dengue among school students, WHO and CDA have joined hands in initiating a series of teachers training workshops throughout the country. Todays training workshop marked the beginning of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness on dengue prevention and control. School students who understand about dengue will take the key messages to their parents and it will lead to better practices in the community. For this purpose, WHO has developed guidelines especially for schoolteachers in English, Urdu and Sindhi. The booklet includes basic messages for students, illustrations that are easy to understand for the teachers, symptoms of dengue, how dengue is spread, the life cycle of dengue mosquitoes and various methods by which dengue can be controlled. At the end of the booklet an exercise has been given for the students to do on weekends which includes simple questions as how they can help their family to prevent mosquito breeding in their homes and how can they stay safe from the disease. Dr. Rana Kakar, Medical Officer - Communicable disease Surveillance and Response WHO, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of collaboration of teachers with doctors and nurses in spreading public health messages. The dengue teachers resource material is the first WHO-sponsored effort to combine forces between the sectors to combat dengue. Dr. Hassan Orooj Director- DHS CDA spoke on the current situation of Dengue in Islamabad and the coordination of the dengue response so far. Dr. Qutbuddin-WHO officer for Vector borne diseases and Dr. Sairah Faruk from CDA Health Directorate introduced the WHO resource materials for teachers and students called A Malaria and Dengue -Free Me published in both English and Urdu. All the preventive measures were demonstrated with actual props and visual aids. Dr. Iqbal Afridi, Health Officer, Directorate of Health at CDA, explained how to conduct the weekend activities in an effective manner and how to analyse the results brought back by the students. Professor Dr. Siripen Kalayanarooj, Director, WHO Collaborating Center on Dengue, Thailand, also addressed the gathering. Prof. Siripen shared her experiences on the effectiveness of teachers to motivate students to control mosquitoes and to look out for the students health. The WHO mission is visiting Pakistan to assist the federal, provincial and district health departments in better handling the Dengue Fever patients in health facilities. The participants of the training workshop actively took part in the question-answer session and asked the WHO and CDA dengue experts for detailed information on dengue control strategies. Pre- and post- training evaluation was also conducted to gauge the impact of the training on the teachers and how well they understood the ways to raise awareness among the students. Moreover, through the group work and role plays, the participants were given different themes and demonstrated how they would convey the safety messages on dengue prevention and control to their students. Certificates were distributed among the participants at the end of the workshop, along with extra resource materials to share with other teachers at their home institutions.