News

Fiji bolsters its state of preparedness

May 25, 2022 1:00 pm

Doctor Aalisha Sahukhan

Health professionals over the next few weeks will be briefed on the need to look out for signs and symptoms to assist in the early detection of monkeypox.

The Ministry of Health says the Infection Prevention and Control protocol used in COVID-19 can be reinstated to bolster Fiji’s readiness to handle monkeypox cases.

Head of Health Protection Doctor Aalisha Sahukhan says a Communicable Disease Committee is compiling information on monkeypox to help local health professionals.

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“Even if it starts in one community, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is immune to it. Eventually, it will spread, so it is very important that we are able to engage all communities that are at risk in a very non-judgmental way.”

In an effort to improve Fiji’s state of preparedness, healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, will be trained on how to handle possible cases.

The World Health Organization’s Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit, Doctor Maria Van Kerkhove, says they are working with countries globally to support response efforts.

“We need to equip ministries, governments, and health clinics to be able to recognize what monkeypox is and to ensure that people who may be suspected to have monkeypox get the appropriate clinical care. We want to stop human-to-human transmission, and we can do this in the non-endemic countries.”

Fiji’s Centre for Disease Control and the Border Health Protection Unit are maintaining oversight on other outbreaks of concern in some parts of the world.