By Fareeza Haniff
The dengue situation in Guyana continues to be a challenging one for the Ministry of Health as almost 1,000 cases have been recorded for the year so far.
This is according to Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who at a recent press conference said that in the last three months or so, there has been an increase in the number of dengue cases.
The dengue statistic is double the number recorded last year. “This is consistent with what has happened throughout the Americas where everybody has more than double the number of cases,” Minister Ramsammy told reporters.
He explained that the mosquito population has increased on the coast. This, Dr. Ramsammy said would eventually reflect on the number of dengue cases in Guyana.
“So I am asking that every family should get bed nets…every child should sleep both in the day and night under bed nets and every family should re-examine their environment.”
The Health Minister reiterated that the mosquito which spreads dengue is bred in tyres that are in people’s yards.
In this regard, he urged for persons to keep a clean environment. “So no matter how much we do, if you don’t do your part we will not succeed.” He explained that the Health Ministry has the chemicals which can be placed in the water to kill these mosquitoes and the chemicals are given to people for free.
However, the Health Ministry is experiencing some amount of difficulty in this aspect, as although approximately 4,000 homes are visited every month by health inspectors in the urban areas, persons refuse to have their environment inspected.
“We are asking for people’s co-operation to allow inspectors because if they find breeding sites in your yard, they would treat those sites for free.”
In February of this year, Guyana was faced with a dengue outbreak. The Ministry of Health had issued an urgent advisory to residents in regions four and nine as there was an increase in the number of dengue cases in the areas of Georgetown and Lethem along with the lesser part of the East Coast of Demerara.
One of the challenges the ministry was faced with, was the constant movement of people from neighbouring countries where dengue is present. The dengue that is present in Guyana is usually the mild form, which according to Dr. Ramsammy will not be forever.
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