Men-C dose delay

STUDENTS of Navesau Adventist High School have yet to be vaccinated against meningococcal a week after six students contracted the deadly disease.

Seventh-day Adventist Fiji director education Nemani Tausere claimed students were supposed to receive the vaccinations before they headed home for the Easter weekend, but it did not happen because the vaccines were not available.

“Also, the vaccination is a bit late so that’s why they didn’t have it when they went home. The closure of the school was only for the Easter break, all the boarding schools sent their students home for long weekends as such,” Mr Tausere said.

“We don’t know when the vaccination will start for the children. The vaccination should have been done before they went home for the break, but it didn’t happen.”

Mr Tausere said students were expected back in school on Monday but because of flooding experienced in the Western Division, the Ministry of Education had issued a directive that schools in the Ra area remain closed.

“It’s back to normal. They are arriving in today because of the directive from the Ministry of Education. No classes today but otherwise it is back to school today and classes resume tomorrow,” he said yesterday.

Mr Tausere said the main area of focus was improving the standard of the school’s ablution blocks.

Questions sent via electronic mail to the Health Minister Rosy Akbar and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Susan Kiran, were unanswered when this edition went to press.

There have been a total of 38 cases from January 1 to March 29, 2018. Of these, 20 cases are laboratory confirmed and 18 suspected cases based on clinical signs and symptoms and/or links to another case, acording to the Health Ministry.

As of March 19 there were three cases reported, and another three cases on the week of March 26. There has been an average of two cases per week in the past four weeks, a statement from the Health Ministry read.

Of the 38 cases so far, six were from Navesau Adventist High School in Tailevu.

Two of the cases in the week of March 26 were diagnosed and transferred to the hospital after a visit to the school by a team from Nayavu Health Centre.

Medical teams have made daily visits to the school where they have administered preventative antibiotics to all students and teachers.

A statement from the ministry last week stated that it was in the process of procuring emergency vaccines for the school and was expected to be given to the students this week.

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