Death toll from the dengue outbreak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has risen to 50. There is no respite in sight. 336 fresh cases have been reported from different parts of the province. The provincial government seems to be unprepared to deal with the problem. Oddly enough, some Pakistan Teheek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders have accused local PML-N leader Arbab Khizar Hayat of providing a favourable environment for the growth of dengue larvae at his residency. This goes to only show the PTI’s lack of seriousness in addressing the grave issue. PTI leaders ought to deal with a matter in a more responsible manner.Environmental experts have also rubbished the allegations leveled by PTI leaders and said if a dengue mosquito is found somewhere, it can only infect the locality that lies within its 200-meter range, and thus, obviously, can’t be responsible for the outbreak across the province.The attitude of the government and a complete inaction on its part is almost as problematic as the issue itself.To prevent an epidemic, precautionary measures ought to be taken before it surfaces. Despite dengue being an annual problem in Pakistan, the authorities in KP did little to work towards raising awareness among the public on preventing the growth of the larvae. The KP government should have collaborated with environmental experts to make arrangements for the elimination of the sources of the virus, but the Health Department remained rather negligent in this regard. It is clear that the situation could have been avoided had there been proper planning by the provincial government.Punjab government has been running successful anti-dengue campaigns in the wake of the horrific outbreak of the disease in 2011. The KP government should launch a similar campaign to raise awareness among the people about prevention of the disease. Punjab should extend support to the KP government in this regard. Political leaders should be able to set aside differences and work together to fight this public health menace. * Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2017.