The Ministry of Health is expected to spend some $50 million in 2009 on fogging exercises in an effort to reduce the number of dengue cases in the country.
So far for this year, a total of $5 million has already been spent. According to Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, fogging is now being completed in Georgetown and will soon commence on East Coast Demerara.
Minister Ramsammy told Kaieteur News yesterday that the dengue situation in the country is now stable, as only about 10 cases are being reported per week, most of them in Georgetown and Lethem.
“Currently we don’t have an exposure, as the situation seems to have settled,” the Health Minister said.
He added that while the fogging exercises are expensive, the Health Ministry will have to find some way of ‘juggling’ its funds. “The fogging is important… It is not a question about the money… We have to do it, not because mosquitoes bite and we want to get rid of them, but because they also spread diseases like dengue.”
For the corresponding period last year, only 70 cases were recorded, but Dr. Ramsammy had noted that testing was not done on a wide scale.
Only recently, the Ministry of Health had issued an urgent advisory to residents in Regions Four and Nine where there was an increase in the number of dengue cases in the areas of Georgetown and Lethem, along with the lower part of the East Coast Demerara.
So far, it has been confirmed that one female has died from hemorrhagic dengue, which is the worst form of the infection.
Earlier, Minister Ramsammy had stated that one of the challenges the Ministry is faced with is the constant movement of people from neighbouring countries where dengue is present.
The dengue that is present in Guyana is usually the mild form, while hemorrhagic dengue is present in other countries. Since that is the case, it will enter Guyana and unless the Ministry deals with the vector issue, there will be a major problem, Minister Ramsammy had stated.
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