by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Following reports on the increasing number of dengue cases in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa, Nauru and Solomon Islands, American Samoa has declared a public health dengue emergency.
Acting American Samoa Governor, Lemanu Peleti Mauga made the declaration last week Friday after three cases were confirmed by the Hawaii State Laboratory. Late last month, health authorities in American Samoa confirmed 13 suspected cases from which eight were positive.
While the number of cases remains small, the health authorities fear the epidemic may spread and affect many.
With past cases of deaths resulting from dengue fever, health authorities believe the public health emergency will help to access federal funds, to support, carry out works to prevent, and combat the epidemic.
According to Samoa’s Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua, the declaration means that American Samoa could get federal money to help prevent, diagnose and treat dengue.
Now with this emergency declaration, the Director of Health is authorized to engage his department, the LBJ hospital, office of Samoan Affairs and other respective agencies, to work collaboratively and deliver effective control measures that will help use preventive measures to combat the issue in their villages.
The declared emergency was made on the 3rd of March and will be in force until September.
Image Source: Radio New Zealand