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Pakistan: Dengue Response - Final Report, DREF Operation n° MDRPK022

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Description of the disaster

Dengue fever is a year-round and nationwide risk in Pakistan. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH)
Islamabad, 22,938 dengue fever cases were reported in Pakistan in 2017, more than 3,200 in 2018, 24,547 cases in 2019, and 3,442 cases in 2020. From 1 January to 25 November 2021, a total of 48,906 cases including 183 deaths (Case Fatality Ratio (CFR): 0.4 per cent) were reported in the country. The year 2021 saw a rise in the cases, particularly in Lahore and the twin cities (Rawalpindi and Islamabad). During the latter half of 2021, Islamabad faced a continuous rise in dengue fever cases, leading to severe pressure on public and private hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the District Health Officer (DHO). While the Punjab Government effectively responded to the virus spread in Lahore, the MoH requested PRCS’s support for controlling the disease outbreak in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on 12 October 2021, in a meeting with the Secretary General (SG) of PRCS.

Islamabad faced a continuous rise in dengue fever cases during October and November 2021. In Islamabad, the dengue larvae were found at 53 different spots during the anti-dengue surveillance in the city. The highest number of cases were reported in Tarlai Kalan, followed by Koral, Alipur, and Tarnol.

Health education is a critical component in any vector control programme, providing the public with accurate information and scientific knowledge about transmitted diseases and their vectors. Knowledge of the vector’s life cycle, ecology, and biology enables people to understand the virus and thus leading to healthy practices.

The dengue fever outbreak in Rawalpindi and Islamabad gradually came to its seasonal close, though sporadic cases of the infection were still reported in the district during mid-December 2021. Despite the onset of the winter season, dengue cases continued to be reported in Government hospitals.