Dengue Epidemic in Sri Lanka UPDATES
July 14, Colombo: Sri Lankan health authorities are losing the battle with dengue outbreak in the country as the death toll from the deadly epidemic has risen to 175 so far this year.
According to the National Dengue Prevention Unit, since January 16,714 dengue cases have been reported all over the country.
Sri Lanka's Health Ministry is baffled that most of the cases are reported from the upcountry. The central hill district of Kandy is the worst affected, with about 2,200 cases. Colombo, Gampaha, and Kalutara districts also have reported high rates of infection and deaths.
COLOMBO, 9 July 2009 (IRIN) - Sri Lankan health authorities are battling to contain one of the worst dengue outbreaks in years - more than 15,500 cases and 168 deaths have been reported since January, according to the Ministry of Health.
June was the worst month, with 6,600 cases of the mosquito-borne infection.
In 2004, the last major outbreak, 88 people died out of 15,000 reported infections.
Health officials were first alerted to a possible outbreak when the number of reported cases spiked between January and April, with more than 2,800 cases and seven deaths. The virus then spread even faster between April and June when 11,655 cases were noted
Doctors in Sri Lanka have written to Mahinda Rajapakse asking him to appoint a special panel to tackle the spreading of the dengue epidemic.
COLOMBO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan doctors said Tuesday that they want the country's president to appoint a special panel to tackle what they claim the threat of spreading dengue fever epidemic.
The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) blamed the health minister and his officials for not taking interest in controlling the epidemic.
The health minister said it was the responsibility of the people to keep the environment clean to stop the epidemic from spreading since the country has no vaccine for dengue.
The GMOA blames the minister of health and his ministry officials for sheer lack of interest despite the seriousness of the state of the epidemic.
The health ministry, however, says in the absence of a vaccine the public need to be aware to keep the environment clean.
The main reasons for the rise in dengue cases are a lack of co-ordination between local authorities; between the ministries for health, environment and education; problems in enforcing anti-mosquito breeding action; a lack of dengue-awareness raising programme, and general indifference on the part of the public.
The Prevention of Mosquito Breeding Act requires written permission from house occupants to have their properties inspected for likely mosquito-breeding spots, and this has created problems for public health officials.
" The Epidemiological Unit has advised people to get themselves tested for dengue the moment they experience fever. Most people do not heed our advice and delay taking proper medicine. Delaying to administer the proper medicine and also neglecting to take the required rest when infected with dengue, would result in patients reaching the dengue shock stage, which could be considered the last stage," Dr. Palihawadena said.
Sri Lanka is now facing a dengue epidemic as both the numbers of dengue cases and deaths for the first five months have surpassed those of the whole year of 2008.
COLOMBO, May 30 (Bernama) -- Sri Lanka is facing a dengue epidemic as both the numbers of dengue cases and deaths for the first five months have surpassed those of the whole year of 2008, China's Xinhua news agency quoted the island's official newspaper as saying Saturday.
The Daily News said the number of dengue cases that have been reported up May 29 this year is 6,664 while the number of deaths reported during the same period is 85.
Only 4,156 dengue cases and 85 deaths were reported for the whole year of 2008, the newspaper quoted a spokesman from Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry as saying.
Dengue programmes have not been successful because people do not keep the environment clean allowing creation of environments conducive for the breeding of dengue mosquitoes.
The CMC in Colombo has warned people that legal action would be taken against those who dispose of garbage along the streets of Colombo from June 15.
May 29, Colombo: The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has decided to take legal action against those who dispose of garbage along the streets of Colombo from June 15.
In a statement, CMC said they would also take legal action against people who allow the creation of environments conducive for the breeding of dengue mosquitoes, so as to control the rapid spread of the disease.
The Government Medical Officers Association in Sri Lanka said it would compel to suspend the dengue control programmes if there was no conducive and secure environment to participate in it.
The Secretary of the association said one of the doctors has been threatened and abused by residents when she was carrying out house to house inspections. The association was gravely concerned about the safety of its members when they engaged in dengue control programmes.
A Ministry spokesman said that Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva has taken steps to introduce amendments to the Mosquito Breeding Act to enhance the punishments on those who violate the Act.
The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), in a statement said it would compel to suspend the dengue control programmes if there was no conducive and secure environment to participate in it.
The Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. B. T. Gunasekara citing an incident in Maharagama where one of the doctors has been threatened and abused by residents when she was carrying out house to house inspections said the organisation was gravely concerned about the safety of its members when they engaged in dengue control programmes.
Ministry spokesman W. M. D. Wanninayake said Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva had taken steps to introduce amendments to the Mosquito Breeding Act to enhance the punishments on those who violate the Act.