OUTBREAK!

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NRH is being declared an emergency zone. PICTURE SUPPLIED
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Flu hits Honiara, likely to spread to other provinces, says minister

BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO

A FLU outbreak (Viral Respiratory Illnesses or VRI) has been declared for Honiara and Malaita.

Health minister Dr Culwick Togamana relayed this in a nation-wide address on the national broadcaster, yesterday.

“I stand to announce that we now have an outbreak of Viral Respiratory Illnesses (VRI) in Honiara and Malaita,” Togamana said.

He said there is high chance or risk that it will spread to all other provinces due to ongoing inter-island travels.

Togamana said during the week of July 25 to 30th, the National Public Health Surveillance Unit picked up an increase in the number of cases of Influenza or flu-like illnesses mainly in Honiara and Malaita.

He said a total of 234 flu like cases were recorded in these provinces during this period.

He added the following week, 1st of August to the 7th of August 2022, the number of cases recorded increased from 234 to 803, an increase of 243 percent.

“This is derived from significant increases recorded at the sentinel sites or health facilities tasked to monitor and report diseases,” Togamana said

He said in Malaita Province, Atoifi hospital recorded an increase of 223 percent and Auki clinic 363 percent.

In Honiara, our National Referral Hospital (NRH) recorded an increase of 264 percent, Kukum clinic, 113 percent and Rove clinic 387 percent.

Togamana said the Ministry of Health has activated its National Health Emergency Arrangements to manage and coordinate the response to the current outbreak.

“In doing so, we will be: Enhancing our surveillance of the outbreak across the country to monitor the spread.

“We are assessing and strengthening further Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures across our health facilities to mitigate spread.  of the virus in health facilities.

“Our Health Promotion Department will be disseminating important messages through various mediums, print, radio, social media platforms, and roll out community awareness alongside other health programs including in health facilities for a wider reach of the public,” he said


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