14 Feb 2007

Fiji health authorities move to counter disease after widespread floods

10:00 am on 14 February 2007

Health authorities in Fiji are taking action to prevent outbreaks of disease in the wake of widespread floods on the two main islands.

The general manager of community health services in the west, Dr Tharid Ali, says people wading into stagnant flood waters risk contracting potentially fatal diseases like leptospirosis and typhoid.

People in flood affected areas in the west and in Vanua Levu have been advised to wear boots if they walk out into stagnant waters and to boil all drinking water.

The health ministry is sending out teams of people to Vanua Levu to carry out a spraying campaign against insects which spread diseases.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contaminated food has already been condemned and is being destroyed or buried.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Teachers Union has launched an appeal for books, stationery and other supplies for students in the north whose educational materials have been washed away or damaged.