Lahore: Though dengue has assumed epidemic proportions in Rawalpindi and Multan, no foreign trained medical staff is available in the affected areas of both the cities.
According to sources, dengue patients in both the cities were being handled mostly by the untrained doctors and paramedics whereas those who were trained abroad are posted in various hospitals of Lahore.
Foreign qualified health care providers were required to be utilised as master trainers and in the dengue-hit areas when needed, the sources opined, saying millions of rupees were spent from public exchequer to train health managers and health care providers on modern lines.
They pointed out that as many as 110 persons, including five parliamentarians and over a dozen bureaucrats, were sent to Thailand four years back for Dengue Epidemic Prevention, Control and Management Training. Those who were sent to Thailand on Dec 5, 2011, for the training included MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Punjab Chief Minister’s adviser on Health Kh Salman Rafiq, secretaries of health and finance departments, doctors from public sector hospitals and general practitioners, nurses, epidemiologists and entomologists, they added.
Commenting on the situation, vice chancellor of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University/Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad, Prof Javed Akram,said:. “Training has no impact, whether in Pakistan or abroad, without regular refresher courses. Training should be a regular feature before peak dengue season. Workshops should be conducted at medical colleges/hospitals. Dengue should be made part of MBBS curriculum with regular update to fulfill modern day needs. We have provided training to medical staff at public sector hospitals and doctors in the private sector. Patients are already decreasing with the gradual drop in temperature. Now focus should be sustained efforts for updating knowledge and improving skill of doctors and allied health staff”, he added.