Pakistan underwent one of its worst-ever dengue fever epidemics in 2019. Over 25,000 cases had been reported from all over Pakistan resulting in 42 deaths. The numbers have risen and continue to rise.
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes that feed both indoors and outdoors during the daytime (from dawn to dusk). Dengue can cause mild dengue fever to severe hemorrhagic fever. Hemorrhagic fever results in severe bleeding, sudden drop in blood pressure and if not treated, death.
These mosquitoes thrive in areas with standing water, including puddles, water tanks, containers and old tires. Lack of reliable sanitation and regular garbage collection also contribute to the spread of the mosquitoes.
Community awareness can create major hurdle against dengue and can decrease the number of cases. People should be advised to use mosquito repellents, cover their arms and legs, particularly before sunrise and after sunset.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Pakistan’s monsoon rains and flawed drainage system, coupled with the country’s hot, arid climate, should always keep people on the lookout for malarial infections. Annually 3.5 million cases of malaria appear in the country resulting in 50,000 deaths.
Infection Prevention and Control Foundation plans to help institutions in preventing these outbreaks through effective surveillance system. This includes
- Increasing awareness coverage.
- Provision of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets to prevent mosquito bites
- Better preparedness and early detection of an outbreak.