LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked public schools of the province to observe cleanliness week before the end of summer vacations, especially as stagnant water left by heavy rains could spread dengue fever.
A letter marked top priority was sent to all chief executive officers (CEOs) of district education authorities (DEAs) by the Punjab Chief Minister’s School Education Department (SED) Monitoring Force. It ordered schools in all 36 districts of Punjab to observe cleanliness week up till August 10. The letter ordered the institutes to mark cleanliness week during summer vacations and before the start of the academic year.
The letter observed that due to the heavy rains, dengue may spread as stagnant water serves as a breeding ground for larvae. “Stagnant water has been reported due to the improper drainage system. Therefore, the possibility of larvae breeding has increased.”
The letter states that standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be introduced to negate the spread of dengue and other diseases. “As per a notification of the Government of Punjab, schools are reopening after summer vacations on August 13, 2017. It is therefore necessary to follow measures prescribed in dengue SOPs during the observance of cleanliness week.”
The SOPs aimed to ensure cleanliness of the premises, toilets and rooftops etc. They also prescribed the draining of stagnant water, cutting of grass in lawns and grounds, plugging of water leakages and identification of larvae and larviciding. The removal of water from plant pots, water tanks and coolers was part of the plan as was the display of dengue awareness banners, posters and charts.
“It is also required to ensure the vector surveillance of all public and private schools before August 10, 2017,” the communiqué continued. It directed health CEOs pass these directions onto DEOs, deputy DEOs and head of schools to ensure.
It ordered CEOs to send activity reports on cleanliness drives, in their respective areas, back to the department. It also said that in case of any discrepancy, the concerned head of school, DEO or CEO would be held responsible.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2017.