Rapid response essential for minimal economic impact

May 24, 2022 10:30 am

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong.

The current priority for the Ministry of Health is to have a response plan for international outbreaks of concern.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says the plan includes surveillance with rapid response and containment protocols and at the same time have a minimal social and economic impact.

Dr Fong says a key focus will be on ensuring that those suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox must be managed in a dignified manner with no threat of stigmatization.

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He says each citizen’s duty to contribute to protecting Fiji must be the priority.

The Ministry is discussing with its reference laboratory in Melbourne, Australia to ensure access to definitive tests.

Dr Fong says ongoing efforts to have genomic sequencing capability in the Fiji Center for Disease Control will provide greater capacity to deal with infection threats now and in the future.

He adds they are also in discussions with the World Health Organization to ensure Fiji is in a better position to access vaccines and medications to treat monkeypox.

The Ministry will be disseminating more specific advisories over the next few days about the monkeypox virus.