LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that due to the steps of Punjab government and cooperation of the people, dengue has been controlled effectively, but the war against the menace is not over.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of International Dengue Conference at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Saturday, he said that the menace was faced with courage, commitment and determination and by the grace of Almighty Allah and with the help of the entire government machinery and political companions, no death occurred this year.

Special Assistant to CM on Health Kh Salman Rafique, MNA Perviaz Malik, members assembly, experts from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, secretaries, officials, doctors, nurses, paramedics, volunteers and a large number of citizens were present on the occasion.

Shahbaz said this was result of teamwork which would be written in golden words and if such commitment was shown in every walk of life, the nation could change history and Pakistan could be included in those countries that issue orders rather take dictation.

He said joys of inauguration of flyover on Kalma Chowk Ferozpur Road which was completed only within four months in August 2011 were not over when dengue snatched happiness. He said that Punjab government stood against the storm of dengue.

 “Although we lacked skill, we braved the challenge”, he said, adding, medical experts were invited from Sri Lanka and Thailand and the war was launched against dengue. He said that meeting was held at 7:00am daily and the government took solid steps for overcoming this serious challenge. He said that his political colleagues, doctors, nurses, paramedics and secretaries of the departments took active part in this war, saving thousands lives.

He called the participants of anti-dengue drive as heroes. He said the government had fought such a war which was unparalleled in the history. He said the commendatory certificates given to those who showed excellent performance during anti-dengue campaign were more precious than diamonds.

The chief minister said that the spirit which has been shown by the political colleagues and government machinery was the same spirit and commitment, the lesson of which has been given by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He asserted that if the nation works with same devotion and hard work, it could make Pakistan the country of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

He said that there were 21,000 dengue patients last year and about 252 died but this year only 252 patients were reported. He said due to untiring and joint efforts, great success was achieved. However, he stressed the need for continuing anti-dengue measures to eradicate the disease.

He also distributed commendatory certificates among the officers and officials of various departments who showed good performance during anti-dengue campaign.