Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence has reported that her Ministry has dispatched a medical team to Aishalton, Shea Village and Areunaw in Region Nine as there have been reports of an outbreak of Gastroenteritis.
The team which includes the Acting Regional Health Officer, (RHO) Dr. Roland Cho Yoe, an infectious disease nurse, an environmental assistant and two pharmacy assistants travelled to the three villages and held meetings with the Toshaos and residents on how to resolve the issue and prevent further contamination.
According to the Government Information Agency, Minister Lawrence said there were 58 cases of the infection in the three villages of patients who are predominately school children.
Samples from the residents were taken and sent to Lethem for testing. The Ministry is awaiting the results to decide on the way forward.
The new Public Health Minister noted that the team also conducted house to house visits and there were no reports of any fatality. “The infectious disease staff was sent in to look at all the elements to ascertain which element was the cause. We looked at the animals, drinking water and mining,” Lawrence told the GINA.
The team discovered that most residents were not sterilising their drinking water.
According to Lawrence, the villages had medication on hand to deal with the outbreak of Gastroenteritis. “On Christmas Eve, former Minister of Health, Dr. George Norton visited the villages and took medication including those for Gastroenteritis,” Lawrence explained.
On January 06, 2017 Dr. Cho Yoe reported that he received messages from the Community Health Workers (CHWs) that in Aishalton, Shea Village and Areunaw there were a number of persons who had shown signs of Gastroenteritis.
Currently the Ministry is collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture, Communities and Indigenous People’s Affairs to address the issue.