Sexta, Março 01, 2024
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The National Director of Public Health, in the Ministry of Health, Doctor Frederico Bosco Alves dos Santos, said that in 2022, 57 Timorese citizens died from dengue, out of 5,624 dengue cases registered.

The National Director of Public Health, in the Ministry of Health, Doctor Frederico Bosco Alves dos Santos, said that in 2022, 57 Timorese citizens died from dengue, out of 5,624 dengue cases registered.

Dr Frederico added dengue is endemic in Timor-Leste, but that 2022 was the first time the ministry registered such a high number of dengue cases and related deaths.

“We went through an extraordinary situation last year, in 2022, compared with previous years. It was the first-time public health registered 5,624 cases of dengue resulting in 57 deaths, compared with previous years during outbreaks of dengue,” he said from the Palace of the Ashes, in Caicoli, Dili.

He added dengue can strike any citizen of any age group, but usually morbidity and mortality cases are highest in the group aged between 0 and 14 years.

Based on the experience on 2022, the ministry is preparing adequate facilities to receive new patients, in the event of an increase in cases, and will continue to work with local authorities to educate communities to take preventive actions against getting dengue.

The ministry regularly fumigates areas where dengue cases present, but it is more important to encourage the community to adopt preventative actions including clearing their surroundings, inside and outside their homes, to use repellent, to sleep under a mosquito net, to prevent contracting the dengue virus.

He added the dengue virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected aedes aegypti mosquito.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Autonomous Service for Medicines and Health Equipment (SAME), Santana Martins, said on their part they must ensure they are enough medical and equipment stocks in their warehouse to support the management of dengue cases and its prevention.

“We are also already discussing to make additional purchases because we don’t know if there are going to be even more or less cases. Using the experience of 2022, there was a spike in cases, and we did not have enough stock. So, we learnt and will ensure this time around we purchase ahead of time,” she said.

She added SAMES has also received support with the chemical for mosquito fumigation from its development partners to distribute to the municipal health services to use once cases of dengue are detected in the community.