close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
October 20, 2020

‘Public health surveillance key to disease control’

Islamabad

October 20, 2020

Islamabad:Recognising the public health challenges that continue to unfold in the shape of emergencies—the most recent ones being COVID-19 and last year’s Dengue epidemic—the Directorate of Health Services has established an Integrated Public Health Emergencies Operation Centre to respond to all types of public health emergencies under one roof.

The Country Representative of the World Health Organisation Dr. Palitha Mahipala inaugurated the Centre in the presence of Director General Health Services Dr. Hasan Orooj. Developed with meagre resources, the Centre has the potential to expand and work under unified command and control, making it a unique model for prevention and control of COVID-19, dengue, polio, or other public health calamities.

Speaking as chief guest, Dr. Palitha highlighted the importance of public health surveillance in disease control. He praised the leadership of Dr. Hasan Orooj, and hoped that the Centre would go a long way in achieving an integrated response towards public health epidemics. He also praised Pakistan’s performance in tackling the Covid-19 epidemic.

Dr. Orooj briefed the participants on different desks and public health action officers deputed at the Centre. Three major emergency issues are currently being dealt with namely, COVID-19, dengue, and polio eradication. “Data from the dashboard is centrally collected and analyzed, and a response is developed,” he explained. Dr. Orooj spoke about the history of epidemics in Islamabad, and the efforts made by the Directorate of Health Services in mitigating the effects of epidemics. “Our tireless efforts have made this city safer; Islamabad has been registered in the WHO’s Healthy Cities Programme,” he took pride in stating.

Referring to the COVID-19 epidemic, Dr. Orooj recalled that a similar integrated approach, coordination, and sharing of resources enabled the establishment of an optimal system in January 2020 wherein DHS was assisted by the environment, sanitation, disaster management, and cares 1122 Directorates, etc. Eight teams were developed for TTQ, sampling, health education, coordination, quality assurance, verification, and community screening. “We also feel pride in sharing that the burden of dengue patients from the surrounding areas of urban Islamabad this year has been 10 times lesser as compared to the last nine years,” he stated.

Islamabad has been polio-free for the last 14 years. “All of this owes it to the special blessings of Allah but also the hard work of supervisors, inspectors, vaccinators, and frontline professionals. DHS workers have given their lives and compromised their health while saving lives and performing their duties,” Dr. Orooj pointed out.

Earlier on, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Afridi welcomed Dr. Palitha. He apprised the participants of the Primary Health Care Model of Alma Atta and the Health Equity Model conceived by Dr. Orooj.