‘Malaria, dengue set to reach peak season in a few months’ | Pakistan Today

‘Malaria, dengue set to reach peak season in a few months’

Malaria and dengue diseases are set to reach peak season in the next few months and the reporting cell for dengue fever has been reactivated since April 16, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said on Monday.
“However, we are focusing on preventing these diseases through fumigation, improved hygiene and health education,” he told the participants of a seminar organised at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital by the City District Government Karachi’s EDO health to observe the World Malaria Day.
“Like most of the countries in the developing world, Pakistan is unlikely to achieve the WHO goal of ‘zero malaria deaths’ by 2015,” he said.
The minister said that the indoor use of safe and effective insecticides and outdoor fumigation are extremely essential to control malaria.
“This needs close coordination between citizens, civic agencies and the medical community,” he added.
He said that the government is committed to increasing life-saving and cost-effective interventions.
“Despite severe resource constraints, the government has ensured that the people suspected of having malaria or dengue are tested in time and they are provided with effective treatment,” he said.
“We registered 27,000 cases of malaria in 2009 while there were 50,000 cases in 2010,” he said.
The minister said that increase in the number of malaria sufferers after the floods last year was expected, but timely intervention prevented many deaths.
Earlier, experts including Prof Tahir Hussain, Dr Salimullah Khan and Dr Fahat Jaffery in their presentations regretted that malaria continues to be a fatal disease in the country.
They recommended a comprehensive approach for prevention of the ailment and capacity building of the medical professionals, at all levels, for proper and timely diagnosis besides containing the growing threat of drug resistance among patients.
“Parasite resistance to even the best anti-malarial medicines is a major threat,” said Prof Tahir Hussain.
Dr Salimullah said that malaria is a leading killer of children under five.
Sindh Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Nadeem Rajput, Prof Waqar Zaidi and doctors, nurses and paramedics associated with the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital were also present at the seminar.

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