THE lack of standard operating procedures (SOP) and resources is one of the biggest issues for medical personnel in Ba in the aftermath of the floods.
This was revealed by Doctor Lavenia Gaunavinaka at a climate change and health symposium held at the University of Fiji yesterday.
Dr Gaunavinaka said a lack of preparedness and the speed and ferocity of the floodwaters caught everyone by surprise and took its toll on the limited human and financial resources and equipment that was available at the Ba Medical Sub-division Hospital.
"We had outbreaks of diseases.
"Typhoid was already an issue in Ba and the flood exacerbated the problem even further," she said.
"The disease not only affected rural areas, it also affected the urban to coastal region as well. This was also the case with dengue fever.
"It was unfortunate that two people lost their lives to leptospirosis after the January floods.
Dr Gaunavinaka told about 300 people at the forum some of the biggest issues faced by the medical team in Ba were negligence by people with regard to water and food safety and a severe lack of manpower.
"We've got 60,000 people in the Ba Division and only 20 people to tackle these issues.
"One of the biggest challenges after the floods was the fact that the hospital and health centres got flooded with patients and the demand for health services increased.
"We had a shortage of resources in terms of manpower, financially and physically."
Dr Gaunavinaka said her team was working with Jyotishma Naicker, co-ordinator and manager of the Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health project to formulate SOPs.