Monday, August 5, 2013

Dengue epidemic feared as Pakistani vector control drive fails

Hasan Mansoor in Dawn (Pakistan): As [Karachi] received its first monsoon downpour on Saturday, the authorities admitted that they had done insufficient homework to keep dangerous dengue germs at bay especially when it was feared to attack once the season signed off and pools of water remained to provide them lethal breeding-grounds.

“We have not done anything satisfactory to stave off the danger of dengue with the culmination of monsoon and cannot rule out the possibility of more loss of human lives this year,” said a senior official in the provincial health department while speaking to Dawn.

While not sparing his department for making little efforts to save people from dengue, which gets lethal historically after every three years, which this year happens to be, the official said that the officials in the civic agencies were not proficient either. “We have held dozens of meetings and decided to take several actions to keep the lethal germs in check, but have done far little whenever it comes to taking action,” he said.

Sources said that apart from other actions, a focal group comprising six departments and civic agencies, failed to take rounds of the shops that repaired punctured tyres to ensure that they regularly change water in their tubs and duly wrap the stock tyres. Such tyres are considered to be ideal breeding-ground for mosquito as it shipped to Pakistan in consignments of tyres a couple of decades ago...

A Gene Daniels photo from 1973, National Archives (in the US, not Pakistan)

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