With regular monsoon rains, a hot arid climate and a flawed water drainage system, Pakistan should always be on the lookout of mosquito borne diseases. Unfortunately we continue to be one of the two nations in the world which still hasn’t eliminated Malaria, and one that suffers from frequent Dengue outbreaks. Despite nationwide campaigns and general public awareness it seems that the authorities have been unable to sustain the pressure and cross the final hurdle towards complete eradication of these diseases.

A few days after the prime Minister himself announced that he will be involved in new anti-Malaria campaign Dengue has raised its ugly head in northern Punjab. While we still haven’t reached critical levels as we did in 2005, when over 6,000 cases with 52 deaths were reported from Karachi, or from 2011, when more than 21,000 cases were reported from Lahore with 350 deaths, the numbers still betray an alarming trend.

The total number of dengue patients has reached 237 in Rawalpindi hospitals, and more keep pouring in across the outlying territories. It is not an epidemic yet but can quite easily turn into one if unattended.

As expected the district administration is busy laying the blame on other departments under its control. Meanwhile PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that “the incompetent government has deprived people from facilities of health, free tests and medicines at public sector hospitals and left them at the mercy of dengue.”

While her comments are tinged with the bias of opposition they do hold some water. Campaigns run by the previous Punjab government which regularly sprayed the streets and aggressively cajoled citizens to prevent stagnant water from gathering have been missing this time around.

Perhaps it is due to cut funding or perhaps plain negligence, but the government has been found lacking. It is hoped they can course correct quickly and competently.