Ministry of Health to spend over $230,000 on Dengue Fever Response Plan

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As St. Vincent and the Grenadines is faced with a Dengue Fever outbreak, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) has increased its Dengue Fever Response Plan.

The ministry will spend over $230,000 to combat the mosquito-borne disease, which has been reported in two deaths so far.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (Sept. 22) Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Simone Keizer-Beache informed that the MOHWE is stressing source reduction.

“Remember the dengue is spread by a mosquito. So we are continued, increasing our response and we have our Dengue response plan.”

The CMO shared the estimates for the cost of the plan.

For health promotion, which Keizer-Beache noted as the most important component, the MOHWE has estimated to spend $29,000.

“That would be to increase person’s understanding, both patients and health care workers, in terms of what’s required.”

Vector control, the CMO explained, involves “decreasing the vector which is the mosquito, which causes dengue.” For this, the ministry has an estimated cost of $210,000.

The MOHWE will also employ additional staff – 10 doctors and 6 nurses.

“Why do we need to employ additional staff,” Keizer-Beache began to explain.

“…Because we have to do what we call search capacity. We have had 167 persons turning up sat the emergency room at the MCMH (Milton Cato Memorial Hospital) just for Dengue, so this doesn’t take into account the regular person who visit. So we need to be able to treat these persons.”

A very important part of Dengue management is the early intervention in moderate cases, the CMO said: “That’s how you’re going to protect and save lives. And so we have to increase our capacity to provide that care.”

To this end, as of Tuesday (Sept. 22), services at the Kingstown District Clinic have been extended until 7pm.

The Argyle Isolation Facility will be utilized and the number of beds will be increased at the MCMH to house the additional cases.

Keizer-Beache shared that the ministry has reached out to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for additional support, in terms of health promotion, vector control and for specialist services.