Dengue crisis deepens

2 August 2011 12:26 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The number of deaths from dengue has risen to a staggering 112 while 13,975 dengue cases have been reported in the first seven months of the year, the Government Epidemiology Unit said yesterday.

It said the worst affected districts were Colombo with 5,454 cases of dengue and 51 deaths; Gampaha 2.031 cases and 16 deaths; Kalutara 767 cases and six deaths; Kandy 461 cases and two deaths; Galle 453 cases and one death; Matara 298 cases and four deaths, Batticaloa 651 cases and nine deaths, Kurunegala 528 deaths and four deaths, Puttalam 322 cases and six deaths while Ratnapura had 551 cases and three deaths.

With the rise in dengue-related deaths the health ministry had taken measures to set up High Dependency Units at 72 hospitals, exclusively for dengue patients and to prevent a possible epidemic.

A Health Ministry source said the ministry would also equip 52 rural hospitals with Hematocrit machines at a cost of Rs.100,000 each to test the blood of dengue patients.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry yesterday turned to the European Union for assistance to combat the increasing cases of dengue.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena had requested the EU to introduce an early warning system (EWS) to alert people about dengue if and when the disease showed the potential to develop into epidemic proportions.

“At a preliminary discussion chaired by additional Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala EU representative C. Gubler of the National University of Singapore and other EU delegates responded positively to the minister’s request,” ministry spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayaka said.

He said the EU also agreed to help upgrade the 111 year-old Sri Lanka’s state owned Medical Research Institute (MRI) to international standards and added that one of the main problems in controlling dengue was the difficulty to identify a dengue epidemic in advance as Sri Lanka did not have the necessary facilities.

“The setting up of a EWS and the upgrading of the MRI with EU help, the health ministry will be able to tackle a dengue epidemic and keep the number of patients and dengue related deaths to a minimum,” Mr. Wanninayaka said. 

He said the ministry had paid special attention to the Borella LRH and supplied all medical equipment, drugs and other facilities to treat dengue-affected children because patient management was also important in dengue treatment.

Meanwhile, GEU acting director Dr. Rasika Peiris said a patient had to be rushed to the nearest hospital or to a qualified medical practitioner if the fever persists for more than three days after normal treatment. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 7

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  • kaputakukula Tuesday, 02 August 2011 05:24 AM

    May be the officers are tied to trees and are unable to function in the control of the insects???

    knight rider Tuesday, 02 August 2011 05:39 AM

    the only cure is for everyone to get out of the ''Who cares" attitude to ''I CARE'' attitude

    SHANTHI Tuesday, 02 August 2011 06:21 AM

    Well said , a good question to be answered ??

    Yehiya-Doha Tuesday, 02 August 2011 03:38 PM

    One minister eradicated the Health service & enjoying with water falls. This man suffering without fund.

    resign minister Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:10 AM

    How about taking some reponsibility? If you can't stop and control the disease - then go home minister - perhaps an adequately "qualified" person should handle the ministry. Same should be said about the other good for nothing Ministers who have done nothing but become FAT using peoples money

    Fayad Tuesday, 02 August 2011 02:54 AM

    What happen to the Cuban bacteria ???

    Cynic Tuesday, 02 August 2011 04:56 AM

    We need someone better to cure dengue


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