Islamabad: The Planning Commission has vowed to work with provinces to coordinate response regarding dengue outbreak. In this regard, World Health Organization has been working with provinces at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. A WHO Mission from Thailand has also been visiting Pakistan.
The Mission had a de-briefing session at the Planning Commission in Islamabad and shared its recommendations after visiting Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The Planning Commission/Planning and Development Division has decided to share the recommendations with provinces for incorporating into their strategies.
Dr. Ishfaq Ahmed, Senior Advisor, Planning Commission while chairing the first session with Thai Mission pointed out that Dengue fever poses a serious health challenge for not only Pakistan but more than 100 countries around the world.
Every year 50 million people contract dengue worldwide. He pointed towards linkages between diseases outbreaks with climate change. He said the recommendations by the WHO Mission will be shared with provinces.
Chaudhry Muhammad azam Sama, Acting Secretary P and D Division while chairing the second session stated that the subject of health has been devolved to provinces with function of planning and coordination being assigned to Planning Commission/P and D Division. PC/P and D has been providing technical support to provinces on dengue control through its Contact Group in collaboration with WHO.
Dr. Talib Lashari, Advisor Health, Planning Commission/P and D Division said that a ‘Working Paper on Need Assessment’ on Dengue Control has been prepared. The Working Paper outlined technical and financial needs of provinces. He pointed out that dengue outbreak is an example that how federal tier worked with provinces in the wake of devolution.
Dr. Rana Kakar, Medical Officer, WHO emphasized that the need for strengthening coordination between government and technical agencies like WHO in the wake of devolution. Dr. Kakar recommended that WHO guidelines on vector control may be followed.
Prof. Siripen Kalayanarooj and Ms. Rasana, both members of the Mission from Thailand informed that the Mission conducted training sessions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and trained 453 doctors and nurses in dengue treatment. Apart from trainings the Mission conducted Medical Audit of deaths occurred in Karachi and Lahore.
The Mission recommended that clinical case management may be strengthened through focused trainings on I/V fluids management, timely blood transfusion, monitoring by nurses, use of dengue charts in wards and close monitoring of patients not only High Dependency Units but in all dengue wards. The Mission recommended sufficient provision of I/V fluid 10% Dextran-40 in NSS and Micro-centrifuge for HCT in every dengue control ward.
Dr .Huma Qureshi, Executive Director, PMRC emphasized that we need to identify through research the issues around deaths from dengue. There was need to work with private sector on standardization of blood transfusion and platelet transfusion.
Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Country Director, USAID Deliver Project, suggested that there was a need to develop proper information system and data management at primary and secondary levels.
The members of the Contact Group on Dengue Control attended the session.
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