Health investigates diarrhea deaths in Gizo

Western Provincial capital Gizo
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HEALH authorities are investigating the deaths of five children at the Gizo Hospital reportedly due to diarrhoea.

Dr Dickson Baora, director of medical and health services at Gizo Hospital, confirmed to Island Sun yesterday that investigation is now underway to confirm the main grounds of the deaths at Gizo Hospital, Western province.

“There is a health investigation underway to confirm five children deaths due to diarrhoea. This needs to be confirmed after the investigation,” he said.

Boara said at the moment they are mobilising their teams to investigate the source of diarrhoea outbreak; “it could be from the drinking water, food preparation or other sources, this needs to be verified.

“We are sending some diarrhoea samples to test stools at the medical lab to verify the microorganism responsible for this type of diarrhoea. We will also begin immunization for the kids to prevent this diarrhoea.

“We are also strengthening our clinics by sending, diarrhoea drugs, and other medical items to help our nurses in the rural communities to deal with the diarrhoea in the rural communities. The health services primary aim now is to prevent any deaths to diarrhoea,” he said.

He also confirms that there is an increase in diarrhoea cases at the Gizo hospital and some surrounding communities in Western province, especially in children.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services office in their recent statement said as part of the Ministry’s routine surveillance activity, 15 stool specimens were tested of which five tested positive for Rotavirus on rapid diagnostic test (RDT); three of the positive cases were from Gizo Hospital and two positive cases from Good Samaritan Hospital.  

The health statement said some samples have also been sent to the Royal Brisbane Hospital for further confirmation and investigation by the National Medical Laboratory.

“MHMS outbreak management team has been activated and currently mobilizing the necessary resources to support Western Provincial Health team in Gizo to respond to their current situation. Some supplies deployed already,” the health statement said.

The ministry of health is strongly advising the public to regularly wash hands with soap and clean running water after going to the toilet, after touching dirty surfaces and before eating or preparing food.

“Properly cover food and ensure drinking bottles and containers are properly covered from flies. Always boil drinking water. Parents if you have babies who are 10 or 14 weeks old, and yet to receive the rotavirus vaccine, please visit your nearest clinic for vaccination,” health statement said.