Virology lab needed in Sindh for viral diseases

MN Report

KARACHI – Sindh’s Province urgently needs a state-of-the-art Virology Laboratory to cater to various viral disease like bird flu, crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), dengue and other viral diseases in future.

The state-of-the-art virology laboratory provides a full range of diagnostic services for the detection and monitoring of viral illnesses in both the adult and pediatric population of the province and also will help to cope up with future challenges.

Senior leader of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Center, Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said; there is urgent need of establishment of virology laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to avert the viral diseases and fever of unknown origin in future. He said the laboratory not only helps to meet the future challenges but also guides young doctors in conducting research about serious viral illnesses.

He said virology laboratory must be established outside the city like on Super highway areas, as a precautionary measure and collection points must be set up in the district and regional level hospitals. He said laboratory will help to provide better diagnostics and treatment to patients of bird-flu and congo-virus and other viral diseases.

He informed that currently National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad has diagnostic facilities at governmental level, while Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) also has limited detection facilities for viral diseases in the province, but poor people could not afford charges of private hospitals.

Dr Qaisar Sajjad said; Karachi is an international city and hub of national economy but due to visiting foreigners and Pakistanis who work in different countries, where viral diseases are reported, increase the risk of prevalence of viral diseases in the city. He said cases of various kinds of viral disease have been increasing day by day in Karachi.

There is a lot of hue and cry from national and provincial health authorities after reporting of Ebola suspected patients in Jinnah International Airport Karachi in December 2014, but unfortunately nobody is ready to establish a state-of-the-art virology laboratory in the province to deal with future challenge.

He said viral diseases can be contracted by medical staff like; doctors, nurses and paramedical staff who deal with patients in isolation wards, so the proper training of medical staff  and necessary  safety equipment for staff like; caps, masks, aprons, gloves and shoes are necessary to protect them from contracting serious illnesses.
He said patients with viral diseases need mass care and precautionary measure otherwise such disease may be transferred to others through various sources like cough, breathing and sneezing.

March 10, 2015

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