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Dengue red alert

Nasik Swami
Thursday, January 30, 2014

THE Health Ministry has used almost 75 per cent of its 2014 budget allocated to combat dengue fever outbreak in the country.

And it stated that the 1422 lab confirmed cases are the highest ever on record with one suspected death since October 30 last year

The ministry's national communicable diseases adviser, Dr Mike Kama, said of the $97,000 allocated to fight dengue, three quarters of the budget had been used and the outbreak was now a burden on the ministry.

"The ministry tends to absorb this into its costs so early into the year. It's absorbed into the cost of clinical care and for public health interventions. So the money is shifted in order for it to be able to resolve this situation," Dr Kama said.

He said a lot of the money had been used for clean-up campaigns, awareness activities and for restocking drugs in hospitals for patient care.

Dr Kama said the suspected dengue-related death was from the Central Division, where the patient died while being transferred to the CWM Hospital.

"This basically has not been formalised. Otherwise there have been two other suspected deaths but that has been ruled out due to other causes," he said.

He said out of the 1422 cases, the Central Division recorded 1203 cases, 165 cases in the Western Division and 54 cases in the Northern Division.

"The cases continue to rise - it hasn't let off any bit from when we had last provided an update.

"We here in Fiji haven't seen it to be so high. That's why the concern is there.

"The bottom line is that this is the fight against mosquitoes because mosquitoes are the transmitting vector."

He said the only way communities could assist themselves was by destroying mosquito breeding grounds and use repellents all the time.

"Safe use of mosquito coils, nets and air-condition chases the mosquitoes away."

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