The only two available MRI machines in the federal capital hospitals, where a large number of patients visit on daily basis to get various kinds of treatment, have been lying dysfunctional for the last several months. “Yes, it’s true that there are only two MRI machines, one at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and the other at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM), have been non-functional for long,” Parliamentary Secretary on National Health Services (NHS) Dr Nausheen Hamid told the National Assembly on Wednesday. She was responding to a question by MNA Jamal-ud-Din at the house, and said that these machines are out of order due to some technical fault that, she claimed, would be repaired very soon. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, who was chairing the session, also expressed the concerns over the issue. “What is the point of installing the machines if they would remain out of order,” he asked and instructed the parliamentary secretary to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Ministry of NHS Additional Secretary Nabeel Awan told Daily Times that the MRI machines were out of order due to excessive use. Replying to a question, Awan said the machines would be repaired soon and the efforts were also being made to procure new ones. Meanwhile, Director General Directorate of Health Dr Hasan Orooj has written a letter to the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) to initiate zero classes (short periods before commencement of regular classes) on dengue prevention and control in schools/colleges. The letter, available with Daily Times, stated: “Pakistan has been under threat from dengue fever since 1994. Dengue virus has become endemic in the twin cities and cases are reported with a major outbreak in the year 2019. It is, therefore, imperative to take urgent action since the environment is conducive for dengue vectors.” It said the health directorate of MCI had started an anti-dengue campaign in urban Islamabad since January 2021 in accordance with the guidelines of World Health Organisation and the government of Pakistan. “Dengue fever is a social disease and it cannot be controlled without involvement of students who can be utilised to spread anti-dengue messages at their homes and communities. You are reiterated to start ‘zero periods on dengue prevention and control’ in your schools, which should compromise information that citizens should not let water collect inside or outside homes, especially in water coolers, pet feeding pots, unused tyres, broken utensils or in other pots. Do not go out at dusk and dawn, keep the home environment clean and if required spray inside and outside of homes,” Dr Orooj suggested in the letter.