July 20, 2024

Cape Verde’s dengue cases not alarming, says national health director

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Cape Verde's dengue cases not alarming, says national health director

Cape Verde's dengue cases not alarming, says national health director

Angela Gomes, the National Director of Health in Cape Verde, assured the public on Wednesday, July 3, that the ongoing dengue cases in Praia and Mosteiros on Fogo Island are not alarming.

This statement was made during a training session for 48 doctors and nurses on malaria case management, held in Praia.

“We still have cases, mainly in Praia, with an average of about 10 to 11 cases in recent days. These are not alarming numbers, but our goal is to cut transmission and eliminate it, especially with the upcoming rainy season, which could pose a higher risk of a larger outbreak,” emphasized Gomes.

She highlighted that significant indoor spraying campaigns are underway. “In Praia, we are spraying nearly a thousand houses daily with over 80 military personnel working alongside routine antibacterial agents. However, this is not enough; we need to eliminate breeding sites within communities, peridomestic areas, and institutions.”

Gomes stressed the need for community engagement in these efforts. “This action requires everyone’s involvement and must be undertaken responsibly and promptly, as we anticipate rains soon,” she stated.

To bolster the response, the National Health Directorate is conducting training to enhance human resource capabilities. “With the rainy season approaching, we are strengthening our human resources, particularly vector control agents and IEC monitors who are risk communicators in epidemic situations,” Gomes noted.

Additionally, the Directorate aims to reinforce laboratory response capabilities and ensure adequate equipment and individual protection to keep structures on alert, given the favorable rain forecast.

“We are mobilizing all sectors, including municipal sanitation services, ANAS, agro-sanitation agencies, and ministries of infrastructure, agriculture, and environment, to tackle risk factors for mosquito breeding,” Gomes urged.

On malaria, she reminded that Cape Verde was certified malaria-free in January 2024. “The country currently has no indigenous cases, but we must remain vigilant due to imported cases, with around 50 annual cases typically reported,” she pointed out.

The training session aims to enhance clinical competence in malaria diagnosis and management. Regarding COVID-19, Gomes acknowledged that the virus is still present, with sporadic cases being reported.

“The surveillance service continues to monitor cases. While we haven’t seen significant peaks this year, there has been a recent increase in cases, particularly in Praia. However, these are within the usual patterns,” she said.

The National Institute of Public Health, through the Virology Laboratory, is conducting genomic monitoring to detect new circulating strains. “For us, the situation is still well controlled.

We have raised the alert level, conducted a national session last week to ensure preparedness, secured safety stock, and increased testing for respiratory symptoms,” Gomes affirmed.

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