Concerns Voiced Over Handling Of Dengue In Vanuatu

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Health department has allegedly lost expertise in recent shuffle

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 29, 2014) - There is concern about how well health officials are managing a dengue outbreak in Vanuatu.

A week ago the Health Department said there were at least 20 cases of dengue fever in Port Villa.

Today officials aren't able to confirm the latest number but say it's likely to have increased.

The acting president of the National Nurses' Association (VNA), Anne Pakoa, says the Health Department has been restructured and stripped back so far, that a lot of expertise has been lost.

"There has been so much reshuffle, there has been abolishment of some departments on the public health sector, can we trust that the new personnel that have been taken out from other departments to manage this epidemic, are they capable. If we're not careful we're going to have a huge outbreak."

Anne Pakoa says the outbreak needs to be carefully monitored.

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