Dengue cases high, clean-up campaign looms

THERE is an increase in dengue cases recorded so far this year compared with the same period last year.

So far this year, the health authorities have recorded 2699 cases compared with 889 in 2016.

The acting national advisor on communicable diseases, Dr Aalisha Sahukhan revealed yesterday that of the 2699 recorded cases of dengue fever, the highest number was recorded in the Western and Central divisions.

Dr Sahukhan said there were nine deaths recorded because of dengue fever and majority of these deaths were people above 55 years old.

“The World Health Organization says that for dengue fever, if you have access to good medical care, the number of deaths in an outbreak should be below one per cent and with nine confirmed cases, the rate is about 0.3 per cent,” she said.

Deputy secretary for public health Dr Eric Rafai said that even though the dengue outbreak was between May and September this year, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services was looking at preventive measures.

Dr Rafai said there would be clean-up campaigns held as the country approached the rainy season. He said with the rainy season, there was an increased risk of dengue cases or mosquito borne related diseases affecting the population.

“Hence the ministry needs a consolidated approach and its partners including municipalities, various community groups and other stakeholders to be involved in the clean-up campaign.

“Every year towards October-November we conduct these clean-up campaigns to prevent these mosquito borne diseases and we have had previous major outbreaks in 2015.”

Dr Rafai said the ministry has been providing resources to health centres for the various campaigns.

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