Last Updated on 2 years by Publishing Team

Monday 20th December 2021

PR 01/2021

The surge in EWARS-Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) Cases a Concern

A rise in diarrheal cases reported by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services surveillance teams has become a concern.

The reported cases in the month of December were from:

Central Division

  • Samabula Health Centre
  • Mokani Health Centre

Western Division

  • Sigatoka Sub-Division Hospital
  • Kamikamica Health Centre

Eastern Division

  • Bureta Health Centre
  • Daviqele Health Centre

The current trend depicts a surge, compared to reported cases at this time from previous years, and all health divisions have been notified of the increase in AWD cases and reminded to be vigilant especially with children under the age of 5.

Surveillance for AWD will be heightened in all EWARS sites. Rotavirus surveillance (a vaccine-preventable diarrheal disease for children under 5 years old) at major hospitals will be enhanced to determine if these surge in diarrhea cases is caused by rotavirus via laboratory testing at Fiji CDC.

Public Health teams in the respective divisions are on the increased alert to intensify awareness and response at all levels.

Public Health Measures:

  • Members of the public are advised to take the necessary precautions during this period and seek medical attention early.
  • Ensure that unsafe drinking water is boiled before drinking.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before food preparation, before meals, and after visiting the toilet.

The World Health Organisation reports that diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. It is both preventable and treatable.

Each year, the diarrhoeal disease kills more than 525 000 children under five years old. A significant proportion of diarrhoeal disease can be prevented through safe drinking-water and adequate sanitation and personal hygiene.


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