KARACHI - Sindh Health Department is buckling up to battle ‘Naegleria Fowleri’ that could spread in the province this summer experts say.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmed briefed officials at the office of the provincial minster for information and local government here on Tuesday. Sindh Minster for Information and Local Government Sharjeel Memon, officials of the health department, local government and water board were also present on the occasion.

Dr Saghir Ahmed cautioned citizens to adopt precautionary measures against ‘Naegleria fowleri’ also known as Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), which causes brain disease. The disease is fatal but hundred percent preventable. He said that authorities concerned are required to supply proper chlorinated water to the citizens.

Naegleria exists in warm water. It can survive in water as hot as 113º Fahrenheit (46Cº) but cannot live in salt water. Symptoms of the disease includes: Headache, fever, stiff neck, loss of appetite, vomiting, altered mental state, fits, coma, and death. There may also be hallucinations, drooping eyelid, blurred vision and loss of the sense of taste. N. fowleri amoebas lives in fresh water like ponds, lakes, swimming pools, underground and overhead water tanks. Naegleria cannot survive in properly treated swimming pools or in properly treated municipal water. Naegleria normally eats bacteria, but when the amoeba gets into humans, it uses the brain as a food source. N. fowleri amoeba disease is not infectious. Infection does not occur by drinking water infested with N. fowleri amoeba.

The disease takes 2 to 15 days for symptoms to appear after N. fowleri amoebas enter the nose. Death usually occurs 3 to 7 days after symptoms appear. The average time to death is 5 to 3 days from symptom onset.

Sindh Minster for Information and Local Government Sharjeel Memon, while speaking at the meeting, said that Sindh Government will use its all resources against the fatal diseases – naegleria fowleri and dengue. He said that there is dire need to educate the citizens of the province about the fatality of these diseases and their prevention.

International symposium on molecular forensic

The University of Health Sciences (UHS) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) will organise an International Symposium on Molecular Forensic on Thursday (tomorrow).

The symposium, which is being organized by UHS Forensic Sciences Department, promises to be stimulating and provocative with the theme “Emerging Trends in Molecular Forensic”.

The purpose is to stimulate discussion of new ideas and find new perspectives on traditional methods related to molecular forensic biology and its techniques.

 The scientific programme paves a way to gather idea through presentations and lectures. The international facilitators of the symposium include Dr Dennis Mc Navin, University of Canberra, Australia; Dr Manual Fondevila, forensic expert from Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain; and, Dr Mannis Van Oven and Dr Oscar Lao, both from Department of Forensic Molecular Biology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Besides, noted national experts including criminal justice, counter terrorism and police reforms expert, Dr Muhammad Shoiab Suddle and Director General Punjab Forensic Science Agency, Dr Mohammad Ashraf Tahir will also speak on the occasion.