Opinion

Dengue! Heed the PM’s call

MAIKA BOLATIKI Managing Editor/News Mobile: (679) 9990732 Email: maikab@fijisun.com.fj Yesterday in this office two of our senior editors went home ill and suffering, with dengue. It is a story being
19 Feb 2014 09:35

MAIKA BOLATIKI
Managing Editor/News

Mobile: (679) 9990732
Email: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

Yesterday in this office two of our senior editors went home ill and suffering, with dengue. It is a story being repeated too frequently in the greater Suva area.
Dengue is a real risk in the Central Division, although thankfully not in our tourism heartlands.
Everyone should heed the common sense call by the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, to hunt down anything with water in it where mosquitoes can breed.
These mosquitoes are spreading dengue fever. It is making a lot of people very sick and some have even died.
So far 2589 Fijians have tested positive to the mosquito-borne disease.
However there are some unreported cases and according to the Prime Minister the actual number may be 4,500 because many people don’t go to the doctor.
In his address at the opening of the new Draiba Primary School classrooms the Prime Minister said: “Go into your own backyard and make sure there’s no water in anything. Get together with your friends and track down these places where the mosquitoes are coming from, carrying this terrible sickness.”
We should all join in hunting down these mosquitoes.
To win the fight we must destroy all their breeding places.
We must clean up our compounds, remove containers or rubbish that hold water, empty pot plant trays, empty the water out of old tyres, household rubbish or tarpaulins.
We must keep the gutters clear and the grass cut.
A medical release said: “Dengue, also known as break bone fever because of the extreme pain caused in bones and muscles, is a mosquito-borne infection transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito.”
Keeping mosquitoes out of the neighbourhood is a community responsibility; and if there are any mosquitoes, it is a community sin. The sin of even one neighbour can be visited upon everyone. Everyone must be aware that there is this problem and everyone must play a role in fighting it.
It may not be possible to completely eradicate dengue fever but it is possible to minimise the numbers that catch it simply by instilling habits of cleanliness in the population at large.
The disease is passed from infected mosquitoes to humans and not from human to human. It can be fatal especially in the elderly, very young and those with suppressed immune systems.
We should follow health expert warnings by not providing places for these creatures to multiply. Staying indoors when the sun is coming up or going down, or at least wearing repellent and long sleeves and long pants, also would be advisable.


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