Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim on Monday directed all public hospitals across the country to open help desks to effectively tackle Chikungunya disease.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad revealed this at a meeting held on Monday, an official release said, adding initiatives have also been taken to set up, if necessary, a joint pain clinic at every hospital to mitigate suffering of Chikungunya patients.
A control room on chikungunya disease was opened on July 3 at Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR). Anyone can contact the control room for consulting with doctors on chikungunya. Its phone numbers are: 01937110011 and 01937000011.
State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque said chikungunya has not spread in an epidemic form in the country as the disease is limited in Dhaka city.
"People outside Dhaka are not infected by Chikungunya disease till now..... So, it has not reached epidemic proportions," he said at a press conference in the conference room of the ministry on Monday.
Zahid said, "We have taken adequate measures to create mass awareness to prevent Chikungunya. Alongside creating awareness, doctors are being given training."
He said city corporations should gear up their activities to destroy aedes mosquitoes to check outbreak of the disease in Dhaka city.
Meanwhile, the IEDCR in a statement refuted press statement that one in eleven persons in city is infected by Chikungunya, saying it is not true. The statement followed a survey conducted by the IEDCR on 4775 people in Dhaka city through mobile phone to know the presence of chikungunya.
At a press conference held recently, Prof Dr Sania Tahmina, director of disease control unit and line director of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS), said, "We have conducted a survey at 50 sites of 47 wards in Dhaka city to identify risk areas for chikungunya disease."
As many as 500 doctors and nurses of different hospitals were given training in chikungunya prevention and control guide lines, Prof Sania said, adding physicians and officials at divisional, district and upazila levels were directed to take necessary steps to destroy mosquito breeding sources.
"We also organized awareness campaigns on chikungunya in over 200 areas of 92 wards in Dhaka city on June 17. Nearly 10,000 students from both public and private medical colleges, dental colleges and nursing institutes participated in the campaign," she added.
Chikungunya is a viral disease which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
Symptoms of the disease appear between four and seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of high fever frequently accompanied by joint pain.
Other common signs and symptoms of the disease include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, they said, adding the joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks.