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Punjab docs launch anti-dengue operation

To treat dengue patients and prevent further spreading of the virus, mobile medical teams sent by Punjab government on Sunday examined over a 1,000 locals suffering from dengue fever, many of whom were diagnosed positive.

The teams of health professionals and mobile health units sent by the Punjab government as a goodwill gesture reached Peshawar on Saturday. Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir was heading the teams and the mobile units.

The teams have set up camps in Tehkal, area of the city most affected by recent dengue outbreak, where patients are being examined by dengue experts. In view of the enormously high number of dengue patients, four more health units from Punjab including eight ambulances, eight doctors and eight nurses would arrive in the city soon.

Earlier, KP government had taken the stance that it would curb the disease using its own resources, and would not give access to medical teams from Punjab to its hospitals. However, it was later decided to take help from the medical teams from Punjab to overcome the situation. In this connection, KP government later contacted Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Nazir and informed him about the decision.

Since July 22, official said only five people had died of the dengue virus.

It should be noted that there was neither concerned minister nor any government officials of the KP to assist the teams from Punjab.

Khawaja Imran Nazir said while speaking at a press conference that they were in Peshawar to serve their brothers and sisters, not for political scoring. “Two more mobile units, eight ambulances and three mobile laboratories will soon reach Peshawar”, he informed, adding that “We are even ready to work under the supervision of KP government, but if it refuses, even then we will not leave dengue patients alone at this critical stage”, he vowed.

He requested for viewing their efforts above politics. He informed that he made several phone calls to KP Minister for Health Shehram Tarakai, but he did not respond. I hope to have a meeting with him so that to start joint efforts to overcome the disease and facilitate it patients accordingly, he said.

The Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif is constantly in contact with the health team visiting Peshawar, he said, adding, “We want KP should take advantage of our expertise to curb dengue in future”. He said that KP government was taking the dengue issue lightly.

On his turn, PML-N KP President Ameer Muqam said that dengue was a serious issue, “We are not here for doing politics but to assist patients”, he said. You will find us shoulder to shoulder with dengue patients at this critical stage, he said, adding that a 13-member committee of locals had been constituted tasked to make contact between doctors and locals so that to assist both the sides.

Ameer Muqam thanked Punjab government for dispatching qualified teams of doctors to serve KP people, saying that it was their duty to fully cooperate with doctors and other staff members of the visiting teams. He said that it was our collective responsibility to help our brothers and sisters at this critical time irrespective of our political affiliations.

Criticising KP government for not cooperating with teams of doctors from Punjab, Muqam said that it meant that provincial government of the PTI did not want to control dengue, but was interested in politics over it. He said that it was not time for political scoring, saving one life is saving entire humanity, he concluded.

Earlier, the teams of health professionals and mobile health units from Punjab also held a meeting with KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, who on this occasion also directed the concerned authorities to take effective pre-cautionary measures not only for eliminating the virus from Peshawar but its adjacent tribal areas as well. The governor expressed his deep thanks to the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif and his government for the goodwill gesture and expressed the hope that the problem of dengue virus would be overcome through joint efforts.

Alam, Khan. Punjab docs launch anti-dengue operation. The Nation, August 21, 2017.

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