No outbreak of water-borne diseases despite countrywide flooding

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony says there have been no reports of an outbreak of water-borne diseases, despite the severe flooding countrywide.

The Minister made the statement on Tuesday, during his daily Covid update.

“There are three things we are looking for right now; water-borne diseases, we are looking for people with skin rashes and we are also on the lookout for leptospirosis. We have had, I have heard from some persons in the media that they were saying that we have outbreaks of dengue.

“We haven’t had any outbreaks of that in any of the regions so far. Up to this morning we have had a call with the Regional Health Officers of all the different regions and they haven’t reported any outbreaks of anything and they have been constantly monitoring,” Minister Anthony said.

The Minister said health teams have also been dispatched to flooded communities to provide additional support. He said several sanitation items have been distributed to flood-affected residents in Region One to ensure people’s safety.

Special teams were also deployed to the Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), which is severely flooded.

“They have been assisting some of the residents in distributing bleach so that you can add bleach to your water to make sure that the water is safe. We have also been distributing oral rehydration salts to the various health centres just to make sure that they have adequate oral rehydration salts. So, in case we have persons, especially young children, with diarrhoeal disease that we can replace that with the appropriate fluids.”

The Minister also noted that at least two health centres in the Region are inundated and the operations had to be transferred to another location.

“In Siriki and Dredge Creek, our health posts in those two communities have been flooded, so we have moved the operations of the health posts to the schools, which is on higher ground.”

The Yakusari Health Centre in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) is also inundated. Health officers are currently operating from the upper flat of the building.

Also, the health post in Bamboo Creek in Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) is flooded.

Dr. Anthony said the Ministry is taking every step to safeguard the health of the nation and has adequate items and drugs on standby to be distributed countrywide, should the need arise.

“In anticipation of rashes and so forth we have sent in things like skin ointments and creams to various regions. In anticipation that children might get diarrhoeal diseases, we have sent in the ORS (oral rehydration salts) and bleach to help to purify water.

“So, we are anticipating and ensuring that supplies are closer to the point of usage and so that’s what we are doing. But so far, we haven’t had any major … health complaints.”

Ministers of the Government and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) are fanning out to various regions, conducting assessments and providing relief to those affected by the floods.

The exercises are being led by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who has visited several communities countrywide to conduct assessments to determine how best to ensure people’s safety and to provide support.