Lahore: As directed by the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif anti-dengue steps would be taken by the government departments on war-footing basis and the performance report of the departments would be sent to the Chief Minister on daily basis. Sunday, September 7, 2014 would be observed as ‘Cleanliness Day’ and sweeping would be carried out to remove dengue breeding spots for which all the departments would remain open on Sunday across the province.
It was decided in a high level meeting chaired by Adviser to Chief Minister on Health, Khawaja Salman Rafique and Additional Chief Secretary Aamir Sohail here in Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. Besides, Secretary Health Jawad Rafique Malik, Secretaries of all concerned departments, DG Health Punjab Dr. Zahid Pervez, Dean Institute of Public Health, Prof. Moaz Ahmed, Epidemiologist Prof. Farkhanda Kokub, DG PITB, Aamir Chaudhary, DCO Lahore, Capt. (Retd.) Muhammad Usman, Additional Director General Health Vector Born Disease Dr. Islam Zafar and other senior officers attended the meeting.
Secretary Health Dr. Jawad Rafique Malik apprised the meeting regarding the present dengue situation in Punjab. The meeting reviewed the performance and steps taken by the various departments for dengue control. Additional Chief Secretary directed that SOPs of the dengue control should be sent to all the government departments once again and all the concerned departments should further accelerate their anti-dengue efforts according to the laid down SOPs. He also directed that a vigorous awareness campaign should be launched and for this purpose seminars should be organized in schools and colleges and in other institutions. He said that community workers, civil society also be taken on board. It was decided that City District Government would display banners, flaxes for the awareness of people and advertisements and TVCs would be published/aired in print and electronic media. Aamir Sohail observed that September is a crucial month due to the heavy rain falls forecast. Therefore, all the departments have to discharge their duties more efficiently for dengue control. He directed that WASA and Solid Waste Management Departments in big cities also be reactivated and special sermons by the Imam mosques regarding dengue awareness also be organized before Jumma Prayers.
While addressing the meeting, Khawaja Salman Rafique said that Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is keenly observing the performance of elected representatives and government departments with regard to the dengue control. He said that according to the instructions of the Chief Minister, Town Emergency Response Committee (TERC) would meet twice a week and the public representatives, Incharge secretaries and other concerned officers would attend the meeting and ensure monitoring of dengue surveillance activities at gross root level. Khawaja Salman Rafique said that due to the rains in September, the experts have predicted that breeding of dengue larva may exceed many times. He said that besides, government departments, community should also play their active role for removing dengue hot spots to check the mosquito breeding. Khawaja Salman Rafique said that after Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Sheikhupura are the vulnerable cities in connection with the dengue, therefore District Governments should also be more vibrant to carry out anti-dengue activities.