Punjab CM orders hiring of 1,000 nurses to look after dangue pateints

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Lahore (Monday, September 19, 2011) – PUNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed that the ongoing campaign against the dengue virus should be further accelerated and whatever is humanly possible should be done for protecting people from it.
He said that an extensive media campaign should be launched for ensuring the participation of all segments of society in the movement against dengue. Similarly, public awareness should be increased for preventive measures against it by paying door-to-door visits, he added.
He was presiding over meetings of the Core Group and a Special Emergency Committee set up for eradication of the virus on Sunday. Shahbaz Sharif said that all resources were being utilised for elimination of dengue and a comprehensive policy was being implemented in consultation with experts. He said the provision of best medical facilities to patients had been ensured in hospitals whereas 11 filter clinics had started providing medical facilities to people at various places of the city. Planning is also being made for mobilising more than 1,000 dispensaries in the city, he said and disclosed that the Punjab government had offered philanthropists and welfare institutions to take over the control of the dispensaries and convert them into free treatment centers for dengue patients. He ordered immediate recruitment of 1,000 nurses for providing best medical facilities to people and added that whatever resources were required, would be provided for overcoming the threat. He said private hospitals not providing free treatment to patients and laboratories involved in overcharging deserved no leniency. It should be not taken as an opportunity for profiteering and it is the responsibility of private hospitals and laboratories to supplement efforts of the government and earn the blessing of Allah by ensuring free medical facilities, he added.
Setting up various committees and issuing instructions for further speeding up the ongoing campaign against dengue, he directed the committees to submit reports on a daily basis about steps taken for eradication of the virus. Dr Hasitha Tissera, of the medical team of Sri Lanka, said the virus was a social problem and people had to work shoulder to shoulder with the government for its elimination. They will have to keep their houses, streets and shops clean, he added. Appreciating steps taken for the provision of medical facilities to patients in hospitals, he said the Punjab government was moving in the right direction.
joint efforts: Shahbaz Sharif has urged all segments of society to join hands for elimination of the dengue virus as efforts of the government alone cannot be fruitful. He was addressing a seminar held in connection with eradication of the dengue virus under the aegis of the Health Department at a local hotel on Sunday. A medical team of Sri Lanka, the health secretary, principals of teaching hospitals, chief executives, professors, physicians, experts and a large number of doctors attended. The chief minister said that steps were being taken on a war-footing for coping with the virus and a coordinated strategy had been devised for the purpose. He said the role of doctors to meet with the challenge of dengue virus is of great importance. He stressed upon doctors to provide guidance to citizens who were in panic and devote all their energies for service to patients in this hour of trial. He said he himself, elected representatives and all machinery were fully mobilised for elimination of dengue and hoped the movement of controlling it would succeed.
The chief minister said that only those nations succeed in the world that faced difficulties courageously. The Pakistani nation is hardworking and able and our doctors are considered the best in the world and we will meet the challenge bravely. It is the responsibility of the medical community to encourage people in the situation as the virus is a curable disease, he added. He said the Punjab government was taking all possible steps for eradication of dengue and all resources had been allocated for the purpose. He expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan president, the government and the people who stood by Pakistan in the hour of trial and sent a team of medical experts.
He said that Sri Lanka had been facing the virus for the last three decades and more than 35,000 people were affected by it in Sri Lanka in 2009 and more than 350 deaths occurred. He said that Sri Lanka had overcome the challenge and the medical team of Sri Lanka was working jointly with the Health Department. We will overcome the challenge through collective efforts, cooperation of people and consultation of experts. A vigorous campaign for preventive measures and saving people from the virus continues and besides pamphlets, CDs containing preventive measures will also be distributed among people, he added.
He said dengue mosquito mostly bred in houses and every citizen would have to come forward for making the campaign of the government a success and have to take steps for its elimination. Dr Friendo, a member of the medical team of Sri Lanka, gave a lecture on his experiences and treatment of the virus. Members of the team also gave satisfactory answers to questions by doctors.

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