Description of the disaster
A total of 19,296 dengue positive cases were confirmed and reported to Government Hospitals of Pakistan in October 2019. More than 30 deaths were reported in September based on Federal Disease Surveillance and Response Unit from Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division – National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad. Based on the case trend, daily 365 new cases in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were expected in Government Hospitals until January 2020. Number of cases have significantly dropped due to change in weather. Severity of the outbreak is confirmed by the numbers of 9,403 positive cases only in fifteen days with high percentage (51 per cent) of case reported in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) / Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) was intimated by the Department of Malaria Control (DoMC), Ministry of Health about the dengue outbreak. Community awareness and sensitization about dengue prevalence was a critical need, for which PRCS support was sought from the Health Department, considering the acceptability, presence and effective response capacity of PRCS. Also, distribution of free of cost preventive and protective material were the main hallmark of this support, which includes mosquito repellents, Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs)s and blood screening from skilled health care workers. Project is being implemented in identified risk areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad with the aim to sensitize the affected community and their needs of timely diagnosis and referral to hospital. Total 28,800 households and 210,270 beneficiaries were planned to be covered through IFRC/PRCS support.