KARACHI: About 50 per cent of the world population is at risk of vector-borne diseases, which accounts for over 17 percent of all infectious diseases causing more than 1 million deaths annually.
More than 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk of contracting dengue alone.
There is need to provide technical support and guidance to countries that can effectively manage cases and outbreaks.
These views were expressed by experts at an Awareness Seminar on World Health Day 2014 organised by Dow University of Health Sciences at its Ojha Campus.
The theme of World Health Day 2014 is preventing and controlling vector borne diseases.
The seminar aims to highlight public health issues which are of public importance and to create awareness, particularly among the youth of the society.
Chief Guest Prof. Illahi Bux Soomro, ex-principal of Dow Medical College sharing his views on the occasion called for a preventive strategy to control vector-borne diseases.
He talked about the need for creating awareness about the disease at early stage.
He said that this year World Health Day campaign advocates for health authorities in countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem or emerging threat, to put in place measures to improve surveillance and protection.
Prof M Umar Farooq, Pro Vice Chancellor, DUHS in his remarks pledged to make all out sincere individual and collective efforts in the society for creating awareness among general public regarding vector borne disease and other ailments.
Dr Kashif Shafique, Assistant Professor and Vice Dean, School of Public Health, Dow University of Health Sciences speaking on Introduction and Burden of Vector Borne Diseases said that Malaria causes more than 600 000 deaths every year globally, most of them children under 5 years of age. WHO estimates there may be more than 100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. About 2.5 percent of those affected die.
He said that since 2010, Pakistan has been experiencing an epidemic of dengue fever that has caused 16,580 confirmed cases and 257 deaths in Lahore and nearly 5,000 cases and 60 deaths reported from the rest of the country. The three provinces facing the epidemic are Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.
Dr Rafiq Khanani, Director, IPER, DUHS and Prof Tahir Masood of Karachi University also spoke.
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