Sandrine (Health Coordinator) and Denny (Health Assistance) traveled to Malekula Province to provide training to Vanuatu Red Cross Society volunteers in preparation for a community mobilization activity. This activity forms part of the Emergency Plan of Action for the dengue fever outbreak in Vanuatu. Populations directly targeted in this plan include dengue hotspot areas of Emae Island (Shefa Province) and Lakatoro & Lamap locations in Malekula Province. The action plan includes three key components and these are:
1. Ways to prevent dengue fever and vector eradication.
2. Mass communication campaign to increase awareness and help achieve behavioural change.
3. Waste disposal campaign to support community mobilization for vector eradication.
As of 27 February, 1798 suspected cases have been reported to the Ministry of Health.
Dengue illness is suspected if you have symptoms of: High fever for at least 2 days; Severe headache; Nausea and vomiting; Muscle or joint pains; Pain behind the eyes; and Rash.
Anyone who suspects that they have symptoms of dengue should seek medical advice from their nearest healthcare facility. Dengue can be a dangerous disease because in severe cases (symptoms may include intense stomach pain, repeated vomiting, bleeding from the nose or gums) it may cause death.
At present, the main method to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus is to combat mosquitoes through:
- preventing mosquitoes from breeding by destroying breeding sites such as empty coconut shells and tires and rubbish.
- disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats;
- covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis;
- using of personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide treated materials and coils;
- improving community participation and mobilization for sustained mosquito control;