In a major policy decision taken by the Health Department facility of free dengue testing has been extended in 33 centres across the state. It was announced by Mr. Brahm Mohindra, Health Minister, Punjab while chairing the meeting of the state task force on dengue held at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh here on the occasion of World Malaria Day.Disclosing this in a press communiqué Mr. Brahm Mohindra said that the other major initiative taken to fight the menace of dengue is that all the Medical Officers and Rural Medical Officers would be trained on the preventive measures required to check the outbreak and spread of Dengue. He said that earlier free dengue testing was available at only 26 centers which has now been extended at 33 centres. Divulging the details health minister said that now Sub Divisional Hospital Dera Bassi, Batala, Phagwara, Khanna, Nabha, Malout, Bhunga will also provide free testing of dengue. He said that the supportive treatment will be free in all Government Hospitals of the State upto Community Health Centre level where dengue wards will be established and these will be affixed with mosquito nets. He affirmed that Department of Health is committed to provide quality testing and management of dengue and other diseases.During the meeting the preparedness of various stakeholder departments for upcoming season of dengue and other vector borne diseases was also reviewed by Mr. Brahm Mohindra. Taking serious note of spread of the dengue in the State last year strict instructions were given to Department of Local Government to procure the requisite insecticides and spray pumps and fogging machines before the onset of season of dengue as the responsibility of prevention of dengue in urban areas lies with Local Government. Instructions were given to issue challans of the premises from where breeding of mosquitoes is reported and to take immediate remedial measures to curb the menace of dengue.
Brahm Mohindra also instructed Rural Development and Panchayats department to identify ponds so that all of the water bodies be seeded with gambusia fishes in order to prevent breeding of mosquitoes and thus diseases like malaria and dengue can be prevented.All the 11 stakeholder departments Local Government, Rural Development and Panchayats, Transport, Education, Medical Education and Research, Labour, Water Supply & Sanitation, Animal Husbandry, IMA, Roadways, Fisheries were instructed to ensure that all the offices under their jurisdiction do not have breeding of mosquitoes otherwise disciplinary action will be taken against the head of the building.Instructions were issued to Indian Medical Association Punjab that doctors and laboratories in private should adhere to the guidelines issued by time to time and information of each case of dengue be shared with Department of Health otherwise action as per act will be taken against the erring institution.Mr. Brahm Mohindra further appealed to public to participate in the campaign of preventing dengue by emptying and cleaning all the water containers like dessert coolers, flower pots, refrigerator trays and to cover all the water tanks once a week. Every Friday this exercise should be done in each household and every government and private offices to prevent breeding of mosquitoes. Health Minister desired that every government department must take lead in this and workforce should spread the message of “Every Friday: Dry Day” in every nook and corner of the State. Director General School Education was asked to replicate this “Every Friday: Dry Day” campaign in schools to generate awareness among the students.