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Dengue caution

Shalveen Chand
Monday, January 06, 2014

THERE could be more dengue cases than those recorded by the Health Ministry, with some people opting to seek medical aid from private practitioners.

And according to the Health Ministry, the new strain of dengue could be spreading with movement of people from urban to rural areas.

At the end of December, there were 283 cases but in the first three days of this year, 123 cases were recorded, taking the tally to 406.

These are the cases recorded at the ministry-run hospitals and health centres.

Health spokeswoman Evlyn Mani said because of the high likelihood of travel by people from urban to rural areas during this festive period, it effectively puts the other health divisions at risk as well.

She said this would also depend on the density of the dengue-transmitting mosquito (Aedes Aegypti) in those localities.

Residents in the suburb of Vatuwaqa in Suva fear that their area could prove to be a mosquito breeding haven. Fletcher Rd resident Vikash Lal, 38, said Vatuwaqa had a large drainage network, however, some of these drains were blocked.

"There are drains running behind my house which are clogged with rubbish, plastic bottles, plastics, paper, cardboards," he said.

"Now this is a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. Vatuwaqa is very crowded, there is Wailea Settlement, Nanuku and Viria Settlement.

"My daughter was diagnosed with dengue two days ago, just hoping nobody else in my family gets it."

Pacific Community Network, an NGO which works with squatter settlements around the greater Suva area agrees that some of the settlements could foster suitable conditions for breeding mosquitoes.

PCN's Father Kevin Barr said Wailea is a water-logged community but they have set-up clean-up committees within the settlements.

The Health Ministry is still working on collating data to confirm how many people have been admitted because of dengue.

It is also advising people that should symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting and severe fever continue, they should not hesitate to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Suva City Council is carrying out a mosquito spraying campaign in the city's suburbs to help prevent the further spread of dengue.

The authorities have also advised people to destroy mosquito breeding grounds in their surroundings and to keep their compounds clean.

"There are drains running behind my house which are clogged with rubbish, plastic bottles, plastics, paper, cardboards," he said.

"Now this is a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. Vatuwaqa is very crowded, there is Wailea settlement, Nanuku and Viria settlement.

"My daughter was diagnosed with dengue two days ago, just hoping nobody else in my family gets it."

Pacific Community Network, an NGO which works with squatter settlements around the greater Suva area, agrees that some of the settlements can foster suitable conditions for breeding mosquitoes.

PCN's Father Kevin Barr said Wailea was a waterlogged community where they had set up a clean-up committee.

The Health Ministry is still working on collating data to confirm how many people have been admitted because of dengue.

It is also advising people that should symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting and severe fever continue, they should not hesitate to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Suva City Council is carrying out a mosquito spraying campaign in the city's suburbs to help prevent the further spread of dengue.

The authorities have also advised people to destroy mosquito breeding grounds in their surroundings and to keep their compounds clean.





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