ISLAMABAD: With over 340 cases of dengue fever reported in the Malakand district, the federal health ministry has lurched into action by dispatching supplies and experts to the affected Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa district.
“So far around 340 cases have been reported from the area, and day by day more cases are being reported,” a senior official at the National Institute of Health (NIH) told The Express Tribune.
The official, who wished not to be named, said that they had not received any reports of dengue fever related deaths from Batkhela, the capital city of Malakand district in K-P, but the situation was alarming. He added that this was the first time the area had witnessed an outbreak of the disease.
“There is a need to control its [dengue’s] spread otherwise chances are it could affect the entire population of the area,” warned the official.
Malaria Control Programme Director Dr Aslam Khan explained that the main reason for the fast dispersal of the disease was the frequent movement of people in and out of the area.
Meanwhile, Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar has ordered the Directorate of Malaria Control (DoMC) to dispatch 500 bed nets along with Insecticides for spray to the affected area.
A statement released on Friday said that a team of epidemiologists has also been sent for field investigations and to conduct a focused study in Swat and Malakand to identify vector and larva breeding sites and to improve surveillance of the virus in the area. They will also provide guidance and training to field staff in the district.
“The team there is finding larva sites and neutralizing them,” Khan told the told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.