Failure to tackle dengue outbreak

October 12, 2017

It is alarming that death toll from the dengue outbreak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has risen to 50, but still there seems no respite in sight. According to a report, over 300 fresh cases have been surfaced from various parts of the province. Continued rise in the new cases shows that provincial government despite tall claims is unable to control dengue. Government in fact seems to be unprepared to deal with the problem.
In spite of finding ways to tackle the serious issue, policy makers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf are busy making absurd statements. PTI leaders accused one of the local leaders of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz of providing a favourable environment for the growth of dengue larvae at his residency. Such claims not only seem ridiculous but also disappointing, particularly from the leaders of a political party which claims to bring ‘change’ in the country. Even experts in the matter have brushed aside the statement of PTI leaders. They say if a dengue mosquito is found at a place, it can only infect the locality that lies within its 200-meter range. Disappointing attitude of the government is almost as problematic as the issue itself. It would be more appropriate if PTI leaders show more seriousness in addressing the grave issue.
It is a fact that ‘dengue’ has become almost an annual issue in the country as with the arrival of favorable season it spreads, but it seems authorities in KPK were not prepared to tackle the issue. A comprehensive awareness campaign among the public must have been initiated. People must be told how to prevent the growth of larva. Had the appropriate measure were taken by authorities situation could have been avoided. It seems KPK Health Department needs to take some aspiration from same departments of other provinces to improve the situation. Punjab government has been running successful anti-dengue campaigns in the wake of the horrific outbreak of the disease in 2011. It is also condemnable that in dealing such a serious issue politicians are trying to gain petty political advantage. It would be better if KPK government has welcomed support of Punjab government in this regard. It is time to set aside political differences in order to tackle grave issue.
Provincial government of KPK must deal with the grave issue in a more responsible manner.

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