SOLDIERS, POLICE ENFORCE HEALTH EMERGENCY IN FIJI

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Villages in Ba face restrictions due to typhoid outbreak

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 27, 2012) - Soldiers and police officers have been deployed to Koroboya village and Naitasiri settlement in Ba to see that villagers take heed of the Public Health Emergency laws.

The health emergency was put in place last week to stop the spread of typhoid to other villagers after 10 villagers were hospitalised last week.

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said villagers had been educated on rules to be followed during the emergency period.

He said movement would be restricted in the village and settlement and people were not allowed to gather in large groups.

"No mass gatherings and this includes funeral gatherings, weddings and mass religious gatherings, no slaughtering of animals, no extensive cookings, no feasting and no consumption of kava," he said.

"Anyone found behaving in a manner against this declaration or is proven guilty of obstructing the officials conducting their duties during the mentioned period will be prosecuted."

He urged villagers to support government officials in their work in order to contain the spread of outbreak.

"Apart from the soldiers and police, the village headman and the district rep will be also responsible for reporting those villagers that break the law."

Cdr Cawaki said the Republic of Fiji Military Forces hygiene team had also been sought for deployment to the west to support community health interventions.

He said more than 500 villagers at Koroboya, Koroqwaqwa, Sasa and some neighbouring areas were checked by the health officials who were members of the government integrated team deployed to contain typhoid.

Cdr Cawaki said the same philosophy was used for the outbreak at Nanoko which saw the full containment of typhoid in Navosa early this year.

The public health emergency will end March 24.

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