LAHORE:In the midst of an emerging monkeypox outbreak globally, the training of medical personnel has been started in Punjab as a part of the government’s preparedness against the viral disease.

The first training session was held on Monday at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in which 60 health professionals from government hospitals in Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Sialkot were briefed on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients.

Organised in collaboration with the DG Health Services Punjab office, these training sessions will be held every Monday at UHS and a doctor, a nurse, and a paramedic will be trained from each hospital in Punjab. Prof Sidra Saleem, the UHS Microbiology department’s head, gave a presentation on various aspects of the disease. Dr Somia Iqtidar from the KEMU Medicine department and Dr Shehla Shaukat from the Dermatology department also facilitated the training.

Addressing the participants, UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Javed Akram said that no case of monkeypox had been reported so far but like COVID-19 medical personnel should be prepared to deal with the threat of the new disease. He said that initial training was being imparted to the medical staff; however, the university would also provide more advanced training if needed.

Prof Sidra Saleem said that monkeypox could be spread by the body fluids, breathing, and touching of an infected person. Fever, muscle ache, lesions, and chills were the common symptoms of monkeypox in humans, she said adding the virus had a fatality ratio of 3-6 percent.

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