Minister for improving dengue surveillance

LAHORE, May 13   -   Punjab Minister for Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Khawaja Salman Rafique chaired the second meeting of the Technical Working Group on Dengue Virus at the Institute of Public Health (IPH), here on Monday. IPH Dean Prof. Dr. Zarfishan Tahir, Additional Secretary (Technical) P&SHD Dr. Younis, Dr. Jamshed, Dr. Irfan Ahmed, Dr. Yadullah and Dr. Anjum from World Health Organization (WHO), Nosheen from PITB, Dengue Experts Advisory Group (DEAG) Chairperson Prof. Dr. Imran, Entomologists Prof. Dr. Waseem Akram, District Health Authority Lahore Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Faisal Malik and others attended the meeting. Dr. Zarfishan Tahir briefed the minister about current situation of dengue virus across the province and measures taken to control it.

Khawaja Salman Rafique reprimanded CEO Lahore Dr. Faisal for poor performance and directed to improve dengue surveillance. He said that all departments should work with eyes open to prevent the spread of dengue virus. People should ensure cleanliness in their homes, shops and other places, he instructed. “We need to speed up and improve surveillance in the field. Field staff should be trained in this regard,” he said. The minister emphasized that the global battle against dengue virus involves multiple countries, highlighting the shared responsibility among all stakeholders to control its spread. Mobilizing field staff is imperative to confront the dengue challenge effectively. The Punjab government is proactively formulating a comprehensive strategy well in advance of the dengue season, he mentioned. Urgent actions are required to curb larvae proliferation. Any falsified performance in the field will face consequences. Misleading dengue surveillance practices are deemed harmful to the public and will be addressed accordingly, he added. On the occasion, Entomologist Prof. Waseem Akram stressed the importance of parental vigilance in safeguarding children from dengue. He recommended refresher training for master trainers in entomology and emphasized the collaborative efforts of health department, Parks and Horticultural Authority, and Water and Sanitation Agency to combat the disease effectively.

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