Although, dengue is not a new life threatening disease in Pakistan, but at the present it has become like a disaster and a burning challenge to deal with. Toll of patients suffering from dengue is increasing day by day. Each day brings bad news that couple of patients died owing to dengue. Initially, there were reports about the cases from Punjab, but now it has been told that cases of dengue have been identified in other parts of the country.
At this moment, what is more necessary is to devise certain strategies to increase awareness about the preventive measures (before and after diagnosis of dengue), main vectors that cause dengue, various signs and symptoms and the effective way to deal with the disease after diagnosing it. To curb the disease that has posed a threat to the human survival, strategies are required at community and government level.
Dengue (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) occur owing to the Aedes aegypti and Ae Albopictus that are transmitted by various species of mosquitoes. The very causes of DF and DHF are headache, muscle/joint pain, skin rash, bleeding, low levels of blood platelets, blood plasma leakage and so forth. Research conducted in South-East Asian countries shows that mosquitoes causing DF and DHF live in the houses, vacant land, earthen jars, concrete water storages, “coconut husks and coconut floral spathes that held rain water” and so forth.
In our country, such type of research must be conducted to know the habitat of those species of mosquitoes that cause DF and DHF. The government should assign that work of research to various universities and other concerned research based institutions. The research teams must also come up with the solutions to control the breeding of these mosquitoes. The awareness based campaigns should be started across the country in the educational institutes and through the mean of media. The government should also start spray campaign in the entire country.
At community level, there are many socio-economic factors such as poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness, and so forth that contribute in the breeding of mosquitoes. The most important factor is cleanliness. In most rural settlements, it has been found that dung is left inside the house or placed at the main entrance of the house, water is kept in open pots, or owing to poor drainage system water remains very close to the houses. Such factors provide a conducive environment to mosquitoes for breeding. Therefore, it is very much necessary to bring awareness in the masses to control on such factors. They must be told to use nets, sprays or other preventive measures to protect themselves from the mosquito bites. These very strategies will positively contribute to counter the dengue disaster.
INAYAT ALI GOPANG