Health Ministry strengthens surveillance on Communicable Diseases

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) continues to monitor communicable diseases such as leptospirosis, typhoid, dengue fever and influenza in the country. In recent weeks with the adverse weather conditions, the respective authorities have placed emphasis on the surveillance of communicable disease, early detection, management and public health response measures.

The MHMS declared an outbreak of leptospirosis for the Central on Tuesday the 29th of January this year. The Central Division has since reported a total of 8 leptospirosis deaths during this outbreak period with the first 5 deaths occurring between the months of January to April of this year. The recent 3 deaths occurred shortly after the bad weather that was experienced over Easter.

In light of this the public has been urged to prevent themselves from getting leptospirosis. This includes practices such as not swimming in flooded waters after heavy rainfall, wearing closed shoes when working on farms and flooded waters and following good sanitation and hygiene practices such as thoroughly washing utensils and food before use and storing food safely away from rats and other rodents.

Members of the public are also reminded that communicable diseases are preventable and people should adhere to the messages relayed to them by MHMS which includes simple health habits such as proper hand washing practices after the use of toilets and before eating, boiling unsafe water before drinking, avoid swimming in flooded waters as well as destroying mosquito breeding sites.

The combined effort of the health authorities and the general public in advocating safe health practices and maintaining clean environments is expected to minimize the risks of the sources of such diseases and assist them in their efforts to reduce the spread of communicable diseases.

People are therefore advised to seek medical attention early to minimize the risks of developing complications as usually patients present late to health facilities with advanced stages of these diseases.