Focal group to monitor water quality to avoid Naegleria

May 20, 2013 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: A Focal Group comprising KWSB, Public Health Department and other departments, will monitor the water supply across the city as a preventive measure against Naegleria Fowleri virus.

This focal group would be responsible for collecting the samples across the city and ensure healthy supply by testing these samples on daily basis, said Provincial Minister Health Dr Syed Junaid Ali Shah while addressing a press briefing regarding the quality of water supply and preventive measure from Naegleria Fowleri at KWSB COD Filter Plant.

Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Special Secretary Health Taha Farooqui, Additional Secretary Health Khalid Farooqui, Deputy Secretary Health Dr Nadeem Shaikh, Dr AD Sanjrani, EDO Health KMC, Director Public Health Muhammad Aslam, Managing Director KWSB Misbahuddin Farid, other relevant officers and media personnel were also present on this occasion.

The Focal Group would comprise Deputy Chief Engineer KWSB Azam Khan, Dr Aslam Pervaiz of Public Health Department, AEEN Sikandar Ali, Dr Nadeem Shaikh, Deputy Secretary Health and Executive Engineer Liaqat Mughal.

The health minister said that the Focal Group had been established to ensure the quality of water supply in order to maintain a healthy supply in Karachi through 24 hours monitoring and testing samples in the laboratories. He said that it also vital that media also spread awareness on this matter; however, all relevant departments must also provide this information to the citizens.

He said that last year 10 cases were reported whereas this year only one case has been reported. People could be saved if the virus is diagnosed in an earlier stage. Due to the vastness of the city sometimes tail end areas don’t get the proper chlorine level in the supply, however, the focal group would monitor and maintain this level. Moreover, Public Health Department would also provide with one lac chlorine tablets to be distributed in the tail end areas. Ample amount of these tablets would be stored at the earliest.

Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui stated that, all departments must cooperate with each other and combine effort is necessary. A Focal Group comprising of all departments must be established to collect samples across the city for testing in laboratory. Reports to all newspapers must be issued through the Focal Group and no individual statements must be issued by any department. He said that it is in the better public interest that all departments work together.

Managing Director KWSB briefed KWSB had already established a Naegleria Monitoring Cell and we are striving to maintain supply as per WHO standards. The water supplied to the citizens of Karachi is free from bacteria and supply is chlorinated properly. We are maintaining a 2.5 PPM supply at al KWSB Filter Plants, COD Filter Plant, Pipri Filter Plant and North East Karachi Filter Plant.

KWSB cannot raise the chlorine level above the standard since hyper chlorination is also dangerous for human consumption, MD KWSB added. We have distributed about 810 lace pamphlets and are ensuring 100% chlorination. KWSB is collecting samples on daily basis under concerned XEN’s supervision and testing them in laboratories. All XEN are responsible for submitting report of their concerned areas to the Committee. We are fulfilling our duty and checking the supply throughout the city.

Later on, health minister, Officials and media personnel were briefed about the chlorination procedure during the visit to the laboratory and chlorination plant at COD.

During the QA session MD KWSB suggested that all citizens must clean their overhead and underground water tanks to ensure that there is no sand on the bed. The sand on the tank bed absorbs all chlorine in the supply and reduces its effectiveness. He also suggested that Flats Associations, Mosque Committees, Principals of Schools, Colleges, and administration of Hospitals, Shopping Malls and Offices should also clean their tanks.

He said that only KWSB would be issuing reports and all media Personnel must only consider KWSB report. He also invited them to visit the chlorination plants at any time.