Minister for Health and Population Welfare Sindh, Dr. Azra Pechuho, chaired a meeting on the spread and prevention of Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs) in the province.
The meeting focused on reviewing the number of cases of dengue, malaria and leishmaniasis and the needs and requirements of the areas with rising numbers of reported cases for each. The meeting was also attended by Secretary Health, Dr. Kazim Jatoi, DG Health Sindh, Dr. Irshad Memon, and Deputy DG Health Services, Dr. Mehmood Iqbal.Before the event of the monsoon season estimates and approximations must be calculated in order to prepare for the rainy season that bring with them the highest instances of VBDs. Currently there are 1125 fully functional public diagnostic facilities that can test against VBD’s.
Across Sindh, there have been 170 confirmed cases of dengue recorded in the current year. The highest occurrence was reported in Karachi, with 155 cases. 6 in Hyderabad, 5 in Sukkur and 1 in both Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad.
Health Minister prioritized the monitoring and containment regarding dengue hot spots in the province, while all DHO’s were advised to utilize public and private diagnostic facilities to communicate all the details of the reported dengue cases to the Sindh Health Department.Lady Health Workers efforts will be employed to take measures to safeguard against and monitor the spread of dengue.
It was further noted that larvae for dengue thrives in badly constructed buildings and tyre shops so special precautions must be enforced therein.
Health minister also advised officials to lead awareness campaigns regarding dengue and other vector borne diseases. The areas that are hot spots of VBDs in the province must be provided with mosquito extermination sprays and repellents to curb further infections.
From 2019 to 2020 the rate of malaria infections increased by 13%. Karachi had the highest instances of reported cases for both malaria and dengue, in the east district.
It was also discussed in the meeting that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had 30,000 recorded cases of leishmaniasis, a type of VBD transferred from a mosquito type fly, usually found in mountainous and desert regions. In Sindh the highest cases for leishmaniasis were recorded in Jacobabad, at 321. Jamshoro and Tharparkar also had a few reported cases.
Health Minister also decreed that protective and preventative measures against this virus must be taken immediately and it was advised that 30,000 injections of Antimoniate Meglumine be procured in preparation in the instance of any influx in its cases.
It was further discussed that the Global Fund (against malaria) facilities would be reduced from 13 to 8 to focus on the regions with the highest cases of VBDs reported.
Health Minister also advised the Secretary of Health to document the participation efforts of the Global Fund in order to ensure transparency.