(PRESS RELEASE) – The New Democratic Party is calling on the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Government to act urgently to control the spread of Dengue Fever which is wreaking havoc in the country. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases over the past two months and it is reported that two young children have tragically lost their lives as a result.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) spokesman on Health and Member of Parliament for West Kingstown the Honourable Daniel Cummings MP, call upon the ULP Government to act now, to control this growing national medical emergency.
“The ULP and the Minister of Health the Honourable Luke Browne are asleep at the wheel while the number of dengue fever cases skyrocket out of control – with the number almost doubling from July to August,” he said.
“We have already lost too many to this virus, including the tragic death of two young children. The entire NDP express our deepest condolences to the families of these two innocent souls, at this difficult time.
“Dengue fever is a preventable disease and its spread can be reduced significantly by controlling the mosquitoes that spread it. However, the ULP has been mismanaging the fogging program which must be done regularly, at specific times to disrupt the mosquito’s breeding cycle; and the community needs to be kept informed.
“While thousands of Vincentians are unemployed and struggling financially, the ULP government is charging families for dengue fever testing – a fee which many could hardly afford; and they have not released updated statistics in nearly a month.
“This shows that the ULP has become neglectful and complacent after 19 years in office, and rather than doing the basics to save innocent lives in the country, their emphasis is on campaigning.”
“Dengue fever is now a medical emergency in the country and the ULP must act now to control it and to prevent its spread. I say to Luke Browne: wake up and do your job to save lives!”
NDP’s Representative for Central Leeward, Ben Exeter, expresses his personal condolences on behalf of his constituency and the nation to the family of Jeremiah Charles who is believed to have died as a result of dengue fever.
“Jeremiah’s family are in my prayers and those of NDP and the nation. All of Barrouallie mourn with his family at this devastating time in their lives.” Mr. Exeter said.
“No parent should have to face this alone, and the community will come together to support them at this heart-breaking time.”
The NDP now ask the nation to be aware that the symptoms of dengue fever usually commence four to 10 days after infection and include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and skin rash. Persistent fever, abdominal pain or tenderness, and vomiting, or bleeding are all signs of a possible severe case of dengue fever and the NDP urges anyone with such symptoms to visit a doctor immediately.
The NDP also urges the nation to clear all areas to prevent stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed. These includes covering rainwater storage tanks, ridding yards of debris such as pans, cans and tyres, using covers on trash containers and emptying any standing water into gutters away from the house.