Steps taken to control leshmanisis disease: Health Minister

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Health Minister Dr. Hisham Inamullah Khan said on Monday that government was ensuring medical aid to all patients of  leishmaniasis in the province including merged districts while government has also received 9500 vials of vaccine from MSF  to treat the patients.

During his briefing here at Health Secretariat Peshawar, the provincial minister Dr. Hisham said that government was making efforts for prevention of the ailment in the province including merged districts. He said the disease is spread by the bite of certain type of sand fly leaving the patients with skin lesions and scar on the body of the victim. However, he said nothing to be worried about this type of disease as it doesn’t cause of death and patients can soon be recovered with proper treatment.

On the occasion Secretary Health Dr. Farooq Jameel, DG health services Dr. Arshad Khan, advisor on health reforms Dr. Jawad Wasif, Public health Director Dr. Shaheen Afridi, Director Directorate of tribal districts, Dr. Kaleem ullah were present.

Health minister further said that a total of 22439 cases of leishmaniasis reported, out of which mostly cases 19072 reported in the tribal districts. Dr. Hisham said that special centers were established at sentinel sites where patients were being treated under the guidelines of WHO in affected districts like Karak and Mardan. Similarly health department launched awareness campaign and LHWs were given the task to aware the people during door to door visit. He said through precautionary measures we can save ourselves from the disease. Beside this, local authorities were also conducing fogging and providing bed nets in affected areas.

Health minister was of the view that all patients were provided free treatment and medicines while concerned officials are directed to buy medicines from the local market if needed. He said for reporting and early response to the leishmenia cases, leishmeniasis cell has been setup. The cell consist of focal persons Dr. Rehman Afridi, Malaria program head, Salahuddin Acting program coordinator global head and Dr. Fazal Deputy Director implementation DGHS.

Dr. Hisham said that all district health officers of the province were directed to ensure Dermatologists and nurses 24 hours in all DHQs to treat the patients. Responding to a question, health minister told that anti-leishmania injections and medicines were not registered with drug regulatory authority of Pakistan, thus it caused of delayed in supply of medicines. These injections cannot be stored for a specific period, thus these have to be supplied whenever needed. He said there is always fear of misuse of these medicines.