Lahore: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran chaired the 6th meeting of “Dengue Research Group” here in the Al-Raazi Hall of Centre for Undergraduate Studies on New Campus. Experts from University of Health Science, Fatima Memorial Hospital, World Health Organization and Mayo Hospital also participated.
While revealing the data, a medical data researcher said that according to the facts and figures gathered in the recent dengue crisis, a total of 566,522 people came to various hospitals in Punjab upto November 27, 2011. He said that only 21,469 people, almost only 3.8 percent of the total, were tested positive for dengue fever.
He said that out of this figure, 21,132 patients got cured and only 337 people died of the disease. So, he said, the ratio of cured patients stands 98.4 percent while the death ratio stands 1.6 percent. A participant of the meeting also observed that self-medication and irrational use of medicine contributed to increase in death ratio.
Presenting data about dengue virus, Dr Saeed Akhtar said population of Aedes aegypti in first week of December had shown some decline due to decrease in atmospheric temperature. Its population however, remained high upto last week of November 2011. Prof Akhtar gave details of the larvae and pupae collected from Lahore desert coolers, fridge trays, pitchers, water tanks etc. Dr Akhter said desert coolers would be the main problem in coming season if they were not treated with insecticides before reuse to destroy hibernating eggs.
He reported base index as 2.66% from Lahore for the period 03-10-2011 to 02-11-2011.He said the team had collected samples from Chauburji, Wahdat Colony, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Khyber Block, Allama Iqbal Town, Bakar Mandi, Ponch Road, Islamia Park, Ichra, Mansoora, Band Road, Awan Town, Baghbanpura and other areas of Lahore.
Dr Noor Fatima from Fatima Memorial Hospital, in her presentation, said the according to the analysis of the data found in the recent research, knowledge/level of awareness about dengue transmission and prevention needs to be scaled up.
This can take the forms like periodic dissemination of specific health education material to local communities in the form of flyers, leaflets, pamphlets. She said specific health education campaigns via volunteer groups, NGOs, health agencies.
Periodic household inspections by teams and demonstration of measures to prevent larval breeding sites.
Involvement of print and electronic media for health education and advocacy. Correct information about the use and frequency of insecticidal spraying/fogging for both indoor and outdoor premises.
Mosquito nets preferably insecticide impregnated must be made available at subsidized cost. Social marketing strategies must be designed to provide nets, repellents, insecticidal agents either free or reduced costs.
Complete information about dengue should be incorporated in the primary and high school syllabi.
Inter-agency collaboration for periodic regular mosquito surveillance targeting high risk areas such as construction sites, schools, solid waste dumps, factories etc.
Addressing the meeting, VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that it was encouraging that progress had been made in a very short span of time and more findings would be investigated further.
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