Fiji Time: 11:07 AM on Monday 30 November

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'An outbreak is worse than a cyclone'

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A DISEASE outbreak is worse than a cyclone, says Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.

Cdr Cawaki said a damaged facility during a cyclone could be replaced but the loss of life could not be substituted.

"The kind of damage that occurs during a cyclone, especially to infrastructure, is something that can be repaired," he said.

"But a person's life is something we cannot replace and that is something we are trying to prevent from happening. Prevent any of our people from dying."

He said government officials visited the Lautoka Hospital on Sunday where the reality of the situation at the health centre was apparent.

"We have been moving around to assess the situation and to gauge what is happening in our hospitals. We have to ensure that our people are taken care of especially when they are sick.

"We can't afford to have our people on the floor of our hospitals, so we will move in to help the Health Ministry in addressing this issue."

He said tents would be built in health facilities that become overcrowded.

"We will assess the situation and if the need arises we will move in and erect tents for these health facilities.

"We are already building tents in Lautoka and Nadi."

Cdr Cawaki reiterated that proactive and preventative measures would be undertaken in the fight against dengue.

"We will come in hard on the work that needs to be done.

"This is all part of our proactive and preventative work as we work with government departments to prevent the spread of dengue.

"The proactive measure is our health professionals treating the sick and the preventative work is the rest of us working together on raising awareness and getting the public to heed our advice."

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