Epidemics

Punjab saw a massive outbreak of Dengue fever in the year 2011 which would have been worse had the government not responded in a timely and aggressive manner. Since Pakistan has a tropical climate conducive to the rapid breeding of mosquitoes, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab, collaborated with Government of the Punjab to carry out a comprehensive program called “Epidemic Prevention Program” to not only prevent and control Dengue outbreaks, but also provide preventive and long-term strategies to combat this menace. Chief Minister Punjab and PDMA took aggressive steps to prevent the outspread of dengue throughout Punjab with special emphasis on Lahore, as it faced the gravest threat. An emergency was declared in all hospitals and PDMA Punjab provided 14 mobile hospitals to attend to the pouring dengue patients. Sprays to eradicate dengue mosquitoes was carried out on a massive scale and it was due to these efforts that contrary to the expected damages, as estimated by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) figure of 50 million global cases annually, Lahore was able to confine the casualties to 352 deaths out of 21,292 cases. The success of the Lahore Model in controlling dengue led to an astounding fall in the spread of the disease in 2012, with only 255 reported cases and no casualties. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab has also published a book “Dengue Prevention and Control: The Lahore Model of Success” to highlight the strategies and methodologies adopted by Government of the Punjab and PDMA to eradicate this epidemic. The publication of this book is another commendable effort by PDMA Punjab to create mass awareness for precautionary and preventive measures against the outspread of dengue through the exemplary Lahore Model for saving precious lives.