News @ 3 – 2nd May 2017

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KARACHI: A nine-member team of World Health Organization (WHO) experts has arrived in Karachi to provide assistance to the health authorities fighting the spread of Chikungunya disease in the metropolis, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The government of Sindh had sought the WHO assistance to fight Chikungunya disease in Karachi where it is rapidly spreading particularly in the city’s areas like Orangi Town, Malir, Bin Qasim, Ibrahim Hyderi, Korangi, Lyari, Surjani Town, and Keamari.

A meeting on Chikungunya held at the office of Director Health in which the visiting WHO team briefed about the ever increasing numbers of the disease.

The whorld health body’s experts will visit various localities of the city to monitor the situation, director health said.

The team will probe causes of sudden rise of the disease and will suggest remedial measures, sources said.

Previously, WHO – in collaboration with the ministry of national health services, regulations and coordination of Pakistan – had conducted an intensive house-to-house investigation for over few weeks to probe the causes of Chikungunya fever outbreak in Balochistan.

The investigation was carried in Gwadar city in Balochistan. The number of suspected Chikungunya cases reported in Balochistan as of 19 April stands at 1962. A total of 28 blood samples have tested positive for chikungunya.

While in Sindh, despite the precautionary steps taken to counter the viral infection from getting spread, a rise has been noted catching provincial government attention towards it which sought assistance of the international health organization.

In light of samples collected from different hospitals and medical centres for test, the doctors concluded the symptoms are of a mosquito-borne viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pain which needs to be controlled.

Earlier, Director General Health, Dr Muhammad Taufiq said that Chikungunya was a ‘new disease’ for doctors and the health authorities in Pakistan. “They require technical assistance and support from the international health body in dealing with the menace. WHO has already issued a health advisory on the Chikungunya outbreak in Karachi, and they have asked us if we needed any support to deal with this issue. In return, we requested them to provide us technical support for its prevention and management.” Dr Taufiq added.

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