Lahore: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that due to the steps of Punjab government and cooperation of the people, dengue has been controlled effectively this year, but war against dengue is not over rather continuing and we will not rest content till its complete eradication. He said that the worst virus of the history was faced with courage, commitment and determination and by the grace of Almighty Allah and with the help of the entire government machinery and political companions no death was occurred due to dengue this year upon which we are thankful to Almighty Allah. He said that this is such an everlasting example of the teamwork which will be written in golden words in the history. He said that if the work is done in every walk of life keeping in view this example, we can change the history and Pakistan can be included in those countries which issue orders rather take dictation.
He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of International Dengue Conference at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, here today. Special Assistant Khawaja Salman Rafique, Perviaz Malik, members assembly, expert doctors from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, secretaries of concerned departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, District Coordination Officer Lahore, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, spray men, volunteers who took part in anti-dengue campaign and a large number of citizens were present on the occasion.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the joys of inauguration of flyover on Kalma Chowk Ferozpur Road which was completed only within four months on August 2011 were not over that after a few days, dengue snatched us happiness of Independence Day and flyover and the worst virus of dengue spread in other cities of Punjab including Lahore. He said that Punjab government stood against the storm of dengue. Although we had no knowledge and experience about dengue yet it was our commitment to face this virus at all cost. The Chief Minister said that medical experts were invited from Sri Lanka and Thailand and the war was launched against dengue with commitment and determination. He said that meeting was held at 7:00am daily and we took solid steps for overcoming this serious challenge. Shahbaz Sharif said that his political colleagues, doctors, nurses, paramedics and secretaries of the departments took active part in this war. He said that due to the tireless efforts of the Punjab government, thousands lives were saved. He salutes to those who worked day and night during anti-dengue campaign and declared them as hero. He said that we have fought such a war which is unparalleled in the history. He said that the commendatory certificates given to those who showed excellent performance during anti-dengue campaign are more precious than diamonds. The Chief Minister said that the spirit which has been shown by the political colleagues and government machinery is the same spirit and commitment, the lesson of which has been given to us by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He asserted that if we work with same devotion and hard work, we can make Pakistan, the country of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal and we will be able to give orders instead of taking dictation. Shahbaz Sharif said that there were 21 thousand dengue patients last year and about 252 deaths were occurred but this year only 252 patients have been reported and no death was occurred. He said that due to untiring and joint efforts, great success was achieved and dengue has been defeated. However, we have to still continue our tireless efforts, he added. He said that our performance is before the entire nation. Shahbaz Sharif said that he can say a lot of about the criticism of critics but this will be responded in political meetings. Referring to the metro bus project, the Chief Minister said that this is an excellent public welfare project through which best travelling facilities would be available to the common man. He asked whether it is not the right of the people to have affordable and modern travelling facilities. Shahbaz Sharif said that sometimes it is said that this project will cost Rs.80 billions or Rs.90 billions whereas the cost of this project has been estimated to Rs.27 billion. He said that if provision of latest transport facilities is a crime than he will continue to commit such crime again and again. He said that the new history has been written during campaign against dengue. While expressing his thanks to the technical support and cooperation extended by medical experts of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, the Chief Minister said that foreign doctors have worked jointly with Pakistani doctors upon which he is also thankful to those governments. Shahbaz Sharif appreciated the performance of all those who took part in anti-dengue campaign including heads of all departments, staff, police, administration, information department, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Secretary Information Punjab, DGPR, political leaders, workers, spray men, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff and said that we have achieved this success against dengue by working like a team and reiterated that our struggle will continue against dengue. The Chief Minister also distributed commendatory certificates among the officers and officials of various departments who showed best performance during anti-dengue campaign. Khawaja Salman Rafique, Secretary Health Arif Nadeem, Begum Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Addl. IG Special Branch Nasir Khan Durani, Sri Lankan experts Fernando and Dr. Tesira, expert from Thailand Dr. Suchitra and Dr. Wasim Akram also addressed the inaugural ceremony.