Program helps curb outbreaks

Minister for Health and Medical Services Ifereimi Waqainabete. Picture: JONA KONATACI/FILE

FIJI recorded 715 leptospirosis cases with about five deaths in the first six months of last year.

This was revealed by Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete during the overview of the WISH (Watershed Interventions for Systems Health) Fiji Research Project in Suva last week.

Dr Waqainabete also revealed that nearly 3,000 dengue fever cases and quite a significant amount of typhoid cases were also recorded for the same period.

He said towards the end of the year till now, there were only 24 dengue fever cases from Labasa, three leptospirosis cases and eight typhoid cases.

“The reason for this decrease is for the whole of last year, we really worked hard within communities and villages to concentrate on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene),” he said.

“We made sure that there were skip bins available, water sources were well looked after and the numbers reduced dramatically.”

He said he reminded the public health division that they needed to carry on with this work.

“The numbers are low and we need to spend a lot of time within that work that we are continuing to do.

“We can’t just sit on our laurels and say we’ve done the work since the numbers are now low.”

Dr Waqainabete acknowledged WISH Fiji for the work they had conducted within villages and informal settlements over the past year.

“This is another arm that we have in the fight against communicable diseases.

“When I came into the Ministry of Health, I said I had hope that we would eliminate leptospirosis, typhoid and hopefully tuberculosis.”

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