PESHAWAR: The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has officially requested a Singapore-based facility to help control the mosquito population in the province for the prevention of vector-borne disease.
“We [KP government] are in contact with the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Dengue Management in Singapore through our country’s High Commissioner for the introduction of a new biological method to reduce the mosquito population , a major cause of dengue fever in the province, âsaid PTI Senator Nauman Wazir Aube.
According to Sen Wazir, a resident of Peshawar, the initiative was launched at the request of local scientists, who traveled to Singapore after the 2017 dengue outbreak, which killed more than 70 people and affected 50,000 others.
He said Brazil and Singapore have successfully implemented this method via mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia to significantly reduce the mosquito population biologically.
Government wants to introduce new method to prevent dengue epidemics
The lawmaker said the Pakistani section of the WHO supported the move and that a meeting would be held in a week to discuss the dengue fever plan.
He said the Pakistan Science Foundation of the Federal Science and Technology Ministry is working with the provincial government for this purpose.
“The Minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz is very active for the introduction of this biological method to prevent the epidemic of dengue, which occurs every year,” he said.
Senator Nauman said the Singapore authorities have assured the KP government officials that they will organize a training program for relevant staff members for the successful initiation and implementation of the method and help local scientists to put in place the required infrastructure.
He said, however, that Singaporean authorities would not give the provincial government the “vector” (mosquito), which they had taken from the University of Michigan in the United States.
Lawmakers said he also contacted a friend at a Washington university to help him get this vector from the University of Michigan.
âI hope we can start the program in a few months,â he said.
âWe will be able to establish an infrastructure once we finalize the agreements with Singapore. Local scientists involved in dengue control campaigns are keen to have the system which has been successfully launched in many countries, âhe said.
Meanwhile, health department officials told Dawn it was a one-time investment to create a fully-fledged infrastructure for mosquito control, as dengue was killing people and affecting a large number of people. number of people each year.
They said not only dengue, but other vector-borne diseases like yellow fever, Zika virus and chikungunya could also be biologically prevented once the mosquito population is controlled.
Officials said the new method has been used successfully in many countries to reduce the mosquito population and thus sustainably control the vector-borne disease.
Meanwhile, cases of dengue continue to decline after the onset of the winter season.
The province recorded 11 more cases on Monday, bringing the total number of its patients to 10,529.
Of those infected, 10,496 have already recovered, while the number of active patients is 23, according to a report from the health department. The report says 10 people died from dengue fever in the province during the year.
Posted in Dawn, December 7, 2021