Fiji

Fiji: Additional medical staff for the north

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An additional team of six medical staff will be deployed to the Northern Division early this week, to provide necessary assistance to local teams.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr. Lepani Waqatakirewa, said the additional staff will also undertake health promotion activities in the Division.

Dr. Waqatakirewa said this team is in addition to the 6-member team of Health Inspectors who left Suva for the North on Saturday (January 18).

"They have been sent to provide backup and assistance to health staff in the various survey teams," said Dr. Waqatakirewa.

"In particular they will concentrate on issues and concerns on Food Safety and Water Quality."

Dr. Waqatakirewa said the Health Ministry is very concerned about the possible threats of infectious diseases such as infectious diarrhoea and leptospirosis.

"Mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue Fever currently experienced and reported in Suva can be a serious threat in the Northern Division."

Dr. Waqatakirewa has called upon the general public, particularly those in the Northern Division to boil all drinking water, and as soon as feasible, clean their compounds of potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Against leptospirosis, Dr. Waqatakirewa has advised the general public against swimming or wading in water that may be contaminated with animal carcasses or excretion.

He added that cuts and abrasions should be covered with waterproof dressing.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Solomone Naivalu, left Suva on Friday (January 18) for a quick survey of health facilities in the Northern Division.

Dr. Waqatakirewa said preliminary reports received from medical staff indicate that several health centres and nursing stations have been severely damaged in the hurricane.

He sad the immediate concern of the Ministry in the next few days will be towards safe guarding general health and well being of population in the affected areas.