Dengue upsurge

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Amid Covid-19, Pakistan faces another challenge of   Dengue upsurge in the country.  The looming threats of Dengue further mounted the national healthcare system.  In retrospect, Pakistan has suffered the brunt of dengue epidemics before, with the country undergoing dire situations in 2017 and 2011. The numbers for dengue this year have not reached the height of emergency as they had in previous numbers, but the rising infection rate is alarming, with more and more dengue patients reporting in hospitals every day. The outbreak appears to have started in Lahore and has been getting worse in the provincial capital day by day. Lahore saw 146 new cases of the dengue virus in one day this week, with 740 patients admitted to Lahore hospitals. In this regard, WHO provides technical support, guidelines and capacity-building for planning and implementation in all three areas of prevention and control of dengue fever: vector control, case management and community awareness. This support is being provided to all three provinces facing the epidemic, namely Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

WHO is fully committed to improving the health of the population of Pakistan. It will continue in its efforts to assist Pakistan’s dengue response by providing situation analysis, guidelines for quality-assured interventions and capacity-building for health planners and care providers at all levels and in all provinces in Pakistan.  Dengue mortality can be reduced by implementing early case detection and referral systems for patients; managing severe cases with appropriate treatment; reorienting health services to cope with dengue outbreaks; and training health personnel at all levels of the health system. Dengue morbidity can be reduced by implementing improved outbreak prediction and detection through coordinated epidemiological and entomological surveillance; promoting the principles of integrated vector management; deploying locally-adapted vector control measures, including effective urban and household water management; and through communication to achieve behavioural outcomes in prevention programmes.

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