K-P health dept turns to educating children on diseases
PESHAWAR: As the death toll from dengue rises to 18, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) health department has decided to take the fight against the virus into the classrooms.
With a focus on spreading awareness among the public on how to stay safe against different infectious diseases, the department has planned to introduce subjects into the curriculum which make school children aware about specific diseases.
“There is a dire need [for the subjects] since people are unaware about how to stay protected and we need kids who are well equipped for the future,” a senior official at the K-P health department told The Express Tribune “We are doing our job, but once kids are told about such things in schools, this will have a far reaching impact.”
The official further said that a lot of people were still unaware about how to protect themselves from the virus and store water openly, specifically in water tanks. Had there been any awareness on the ground, not even a single case would have been reported, the officials argued.
Later, K-P Senior Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai too confirmed the developments during a news conference at the health secretariat on Thursday.
“We are planning to include health issues in the curriculum on specific diseases apart from telling school children how to stay safe,” Tarakai told journalists.
Giving details of the infections in the province so far, he stated that so far 18 people had succumbed to the virus in the province while around 3,950 people were confirmed to have been infected.
Of these, Tarakai said, 3,500 people had made a full recovery and had been discharged from different hospitals across the province while around 450 people were still receiving treatment for the viral infection.
Pointing to the Public Health Ordinance 2017 – the first such law across the country – Tarakai said that now communicable diseases will be reported to a central system so that their emergence can be tackled quickly.
While talking about the prevailing dengue outbreak, the minister stated that adding chemicals into the water did not guarantee a solution, rather it could lead to the development of other serious problems.
“The only thing with which we can do to overcome this issue is to not to allow water to be stored in the open air,” Tarakai said.
He added that over 75,000 houses had been cleared in the infected areas and the Dengue Response Units were continuously doing its job.
Claiming that the things were almost under control, Tarakai explained that it could take time for them to complete the job as he pointed out that it took countries years to overcome the dengue virus.