Focus on six risk areas

Atu Rasoki Nayacabuka (right) getting his measles vaccine injection at the Ministry of Health vaccination booth in Pacific Harbour. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

FOUR settlements and two villages in the Namosi Province have been identified as high-risk areas after the measles outbreak was declared in the Serua/Namosi subdivision five days ago.

They are Nabukavesi and Wainadoi villages and Wainadoi, Wailali, Wainibuabua and Naqarai settlements.

This was revealed by Serua/Namosi sub-divisional medical officer Dr Anaseini Maisema during a press conference at the Navua Hospital yesterday.

Dr Maisema said they had started vaccinating people living in these areas after the outbreak was declared.

She said four confirmed and one suspected case of measles were all detected in Wailali settlement since the outbreak was declared.

“These are the high-risk communities we are concentrating on.

As of today (yesterday), we have vaccinated almost 65 per cent of the total population, which is around 800 plus vaccinations in the Wainadoi settlements and its surrounding areas,” she said.

Dr Maisema said records of a six-year-old boy who contracted measles in Wailali settlement showed that the last place he visited was Nabukavesi Village.

She said the boy had developed symptoms of the disease a few days before his mother also developed similar symptoms.

“So we located his folder and in the folder, we found out that he did have some symptoms but without the rashes.

“He (six-year-old) had a flu like symptoms but not a rash. I think the rash could have been the trigger because you know we have flu too around this year.

“If they have shown symptoms on a particular day, then we ask for their travelling history, if they were exposed to someone and if they did, who did they came into contact with.

“So right now, Nabukavesi is also on our list of high-risk areas, whether the measles came from there.”

She said they had strengthened surveillance in the province to track down people who have travelled to these high-risk areas.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services head of health protection Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said a team was working round-the- clock to ensure people were vaccinated.

“So far all the confirmed cases come from one settlement in Wainadoi known as Wailali,” she said.

“So at the moment, what the response outbreak team is doing in terms of responding to the cases includes isolation, making sure they are not getting in contact with people in the hospital.

“The teams that are going out to the settlement are making sure they are vaccinating as many people as they can within the affected area.

“They are doing all of this with the intent to keep the cases in the boundaries of Serua/Namosi.”

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