LAHORE - The Punjab government will observe Anti-Dengue Day on November 3 to raise public awareness about the menace. Mobile teams comprising public representatives, officials, students, and prayer leaders will visit door-to-door and apprise the people regarding the preventive measures to check dengue.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Central Dengue Response Committee chaired by Punjab Minister for Education Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan here Wednesday. Besides MNAs and MPAs of Lahore, Secretaries of concerned government departments, Commissioner and DCO Lahore, principals of different medical colleges, medical superintendents of government hospitals, officers of special branch as well PITB attended the meeting.

The minister suggested involving celebrities from showbiz and sports in the awareness campaign. He directed the government departments to follow SOPs of Dengue control in letter and spirit. He said that no leniency on the part of government institutions would be tolerated.

Special Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarrar informed that at present 71 confirmed dengue patients were under treatment in different hospitals. He said that indoor dengue surveillance has been intensified in the wake of change in weather. He said that Health Department has deployed additional officials as well as lady health workers for indoor surveillance.  Lahore Commissioner and DCO Lahore, Secretary Schools, Secretary Information and Culture, Secretary Auqaf, Social Welfare and officers of Special branch and PITB briefed the meeting about indoor and outdoor dengue surveillance and larvaeciding activities.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab faced worst dengue virus in the history of Pakistan in 2011. He said that due to round the clock efforts of elected representatives, people, concerned departments and all segments of the society, the virus was controlled and that was why, the disease remained under control last year.

He said that despite existing of protocol and government instructions, reports regarding dengue cases from some cities of the province are a matter of concern. The chief minister stressed the need of working with same spirit and hard work for anti-dengue which had been displayed in 2011. He said that spray and fogging should also be carried out in those areas from where dengue affected or suspected patients brought in hospitals.  The chief minister expressed these views while addressing a high level meeting regarding eradication of dengue held at Commissioner’s office Rawalpindi through video link from Berlin (Germany) on Wednesday. Shahbaz Sharif expressed his concern over the reports regarding increasing number of dengue patients in Rawalpindi and Islamabad areas and directed assembly members and party ticket holders to monitor anti-dengue campaign. He said that despite existing of protocol and clear cut government instructions, there should have been no increase in dengue patients in twin cities.

He warned that no laxity or negligence will be tolerated during anti-dengue drive. The Chief Minister directed that the efforts and the anti-dengue campaign should be continued till the decrease in weather temperature. The Chief Minister directed Assembly members that any slackness in the efforts of the departments should be brought to the notice of senior officials.

Provincial Health Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu while giving briefing to the Chief Minister on the occasion, told that  after Eidul Azha, the number of dengue patients had increased to some extent in the province. Separately, Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute and Lahore General Hospital Prof Anjum Habib Vohra said that the staff would not be allowed unnecessary leaves until November 20 to ensure proper handling of dengue patients and to cope with any emergency during Muharramul Haram.

Chairing a meeting at LGH on Wednesday, he directed doctors to admit every dengue positive patients to the High Dependency Ward and give special attention to keep his/her record up dated.

The participants also decided to depute Additional Medical Superintendent to take round at night to redress patients’ complaints and monitor the staff performance.