HEALTH MINISTER’S ADDRESS AT USP CLEANUP LAUNCH AND CAMPAIGN
The Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra
Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Esther Willams
USP staff and Students
And invited guests
Good afternoon to you all,
I must say that it is indeed encouraging to have the University of the South Pacific on board in this fight against dengue.
By now you all must be aware of the gravity of dengue in our Country. We have recorded a total of 11,356 suspected cases and 13 reported dengue deaths. These figures are alarming and have triggered great concerns.
The Health Ministry has continued to work effectively at addressing the dengue fever outbreak. Our health facilities and staff have been strained through this dengue outbreak but remain undaunted in providing essential health services to the public.
Dengue is transmitted from person to person by the bite of an infected mosquito. We continue to remind the public that there is no cure or specific treatment for dengue fever. It is appropriate to say that “Prevention is better than cure”. Hence the need to destroy dengue mosquito breeding places immediately.
For this reason it is necessary to engage in cleaning up our surroundings by getting rid of any receptacles that contains stagnant water. This includes discarding tryes and drums, apart from the coconut shells, cans, tins, white goods and so forth.
Over the past 2 weeks, the Health Ministry along with Public Service Commission has launched a National Cleanup Campaign to destroy mosquito breeding places. This campaign is ongoing and the Health Ministry remains appreciative of the support received from the Government, government ministry’s, stakeholders, partners and communities.
We have received successful reports of the cleanup from as far as Rotuma and Taveuni apart from the cleanups being conducted within our localities.
Your participation, the University of the South Pacific in this ongoing cleanup campaign shows your commitment and concern in effectively and actively participating in the fight against dengue.
We continue to allow dengue cases and deaths to increase because we allow and provide dengue mosquito’s a place to breed.
As a student or lecturer, falling sick with dengue is the last thing you would want to happen. Especially when there is a cost involved, time, resources, fall back from studies, which contribute to the overall performance as a student or lecturer, and ultimately to the University and at large our economy.
It is high time that we all take responsibility in destroying and removing dengue mosquito’s before another loved one falls victim to the dengue virus.
With these words I wish you all a successful and blessed day ahead.
Dr. Neil Sharma – Minister for Health – Fiji