With the increased risk of Leptospirosis, Typhoid, Dengue, and Diarrhea (LTDD) in the Central Division, civil servants will be engaged for two days in a clean-up exercise to combat the spread of these infectious diseases.
Assessments indicate that Tropical Cyclone Harold and the recent heavy rains have increased the risk of exposure to LTDD due to behavioral issues linked to temporary displacement, disruption of utilities, unsafe sanitation or hygiene practices, unsafe waste disposal, or cleanliness of surroundings.
Since the event of Cyclone Harold, there have been 1,146 confirmed cases and 7 resulting deaths of LTDD around Fiji. Of these confirmed cases, 278 are leptospirosis; 77 are typhoid; and 791 are dengue. A majority of these cases are in the Central Division.
Over the past 3 weeks, Government has mobilized resources to conduct post-disaster clean ups and community information campaigns, encouraging families to clean up their compounds, to track down breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and to empty out containers, tyres or rubbish that can hold water.
To strengthen Government strategy in combatting LTDD, civil servants in the Central Division will be engaged for two Wednesdays, the 6th and 13th of May, to clean up identified communal areas.
“Civil servants usually conduct physical and wellness activities during ‘Wellness Wednesday’ hours but for these two Wednesdays, we are requesting government agencies to mobilize assets and personnel to assist the Ministry of Health in reducing LTDD risks” said the National Disaster Controller and Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Mr. David Kolitagane. “We are still in a State of Natural Disaster which, as mandated through the Natural Disaster Management Act 1998, allows us to mobilize government resources to address this Cyclone Harold associated health risk”.
“Through this exercise the Divisional Commissioner Central’s office has developed an action plan for all Government Ministries to participate in this exercise within designated places in the Central Division. We aim to assist in destroying breeding grounds for mosquitos and other disease carrying pests”, National Disaster Controller, Kolitagane said.
“The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, together with health inspectors from the Suva, Lami, and Nausori municipalities, will guide and monitor these activities and will ensure that waste is disposed appropriately in accordance with environmental regulations.”
Kolitagane added that “While this initiative will involve civil servants alone in the Central Division, we should all take collective responsibility for the cleanliness of our individual homes and compounds”.
The involvement of government agencies in this clean-up exercise will not affect normal business operations during these two Wednesdays as civil servants will utilize their wellness hours and core customer service agents will be available at all times.