Medi-snippets: Suspected dengue cases islandwide over 22,873 | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Suspected dengue cases islandwide over 22,873

A total of 22,873 suspected dengue cases have been reported islandwide by the Epidemiology Unit. According to sources 24 dengue deaths were reported from January to May end. The highest number reported has been in the Colombo district, 4,900 with 623 recorded in May, Gampaha district second, with 2,916 cases and 244 reported in May, while Kalutara with 1,649 cases and 269 cases in May took third place. Kandy district had 1,471 cases with 175 cases in May, while Galle had 1,754 cases with 387 in May and Matara, 1,937 with a drop to 31 from the previous month and Ratnapura, 1,129 with 170 in May. The Colombo Municipal Council area registered 952 suspected cases up to mid June while other areas in Colombo had 4,900 cases showing an increase from 471 in April to 50I in May. In another news report the Galle Municipality has registered a high number of dengue cases, while Hikkaduwa, Elpitiya, Habaraduwa, Akmeemana and Balapitiya were said to be high risk dengue zones by health authorities. The Southern Province Governor Keerthi Tennakoon was quoted as saying at a discussion with health and defence authorities at the Government Secretariat auditorium recently that a combined dengue control program by Health, Education and the Police was needed to control its spread, especially, in dengue breeding sites detected in private residences, schools and construction sites.

Epidemiology sources said the current weather patterns of sudden showers followed by long spells of sunny weather was ideal for mosquito breeding. Dengue Control sources have urged the public to keep their neighbourhoods clean and free of receptacles that attract the dengue carrying mosquito, such as used yogurt cups, dead leaves, used lunch sheets and husks of young coconuts. They have also urged home owners to clean blocked drains and gutters choked with leaves. They said special attention was being paid to schools, temples and public buildings considered high risk places, and cleaning up campaigns, using new techniques to destroy the mosquitoes in overcrowded areas were being used. Any suspected case of dengue should be notified to the nearest Grama Sevaka or to the Dengue Control unit who will take immediate action to fumigate the entire area in close proximity to the house of the patient, if the case is confirmed. They urged the public to see a qualified physician immediately if they had fever. Stay away from home treatments, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, take only a paracetamol as prescribed by the doctor and avoid non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs ( NSAID) such as Ibuprofen which could cause dangerous complications.

Gender based violence effectively addressed

Foreign Minister Thilak Marapana has reportedly said that prevention measures taken by the Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities in collaboration with civil society and community leaders has helped to address the issue of gender based violence. Speaking as a panelist at the International Conference on Ending Social and Gender Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises ( SGBV) in Oslo recently , he outlined the current legal framework to combat the challenge and underlined the deep rooted socio cultural constraints that often obstructed effective reporting of instances of such abuse and violence.

Staff, equipment shortage in NCP hamper patient care

The North Central Province health authorities have reportedly said that there was a significant shortage of staff in hospitals in the Province and asked the Health Ministry to resolve the problem immediately as it put patients’ health at risk. It was reported that there are vacancies for five paediatricians, six consultant physicians and 41 dentists at hospitals in the NCP, at present. Reports also quoted sources as saying that although there were 667 doctors in the Province , only 500 were available. Of the 744 nurses, only 577 were available. They reportedly said there was a shortage of 235 family healthcare staffers and 30 vacancies for pharmacists and laboratory assistants. They also listed leading hospitals in the Province which lacked essential equipment e.g. Padaviya Base Hospital, Thambugttegama Base Hospital and Medawachchaiya Divisional Hospitals which needed X-ray machines and ultra sound scanners, immediately. They said that of the six base hospitals in the Anuradhapura district, only one had seen some improvement so far. Similarly of the three base hospitals in the Polonnaruwa district only one had been improved partly. A spokesman for the Padaviya Base Hospital was quoted as saying they needed six dialysis machines while the Thambuttegama Base Hospital was quoted as saying they needed two doctors capable of handling dialysis machines.

Suwaseriya in Eastern Province

The 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service launched in the Eastern Province last week at a special ceremony in Ampara ( June 24 ) completed its islandwide roll out with the service now available in all nine provinces. Ambulance services can be obtained free of charge by dialling 1990 on any local network in Sri Lanka.

Drug Eradication program expanded

The Government has decided to strengthen the drug eradication program by expanding all related projects associated with curbing the drug menace.

Accordingly, a National Drug Eradication Week has been declared by President Maithripala Sirisena from June 22 to July 1 and all islandwide drug elimination programs will be expanded during this period Drug Control authorities have reportedly said.

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