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‘Poor health care’ blamed for dengue


marciadottin, [email protected]

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – The failure  of local health care systems is mostly to blame for the annual rise of dengue cases, Dr Colin Furlong, Head of the Medical Practitioners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT), said Saturday.“We have failed to invest adequately in the health care system,” Furlong said. “As a result, cleanliness and general environmental care have been absent.” With the advent of the rainy season, the country has again begun to see a flood of possible dengue cases, with one confirmed death two weeks ago, that of a 14-year-old boy. At the primary care level, Furlong pinpointed the loss of one-on-one contact with the community as a leading factor in giving illnesses like dengue the chance to gain a foothold. “We’ve lost an important liaison between the secondary health care system and the primary services by significant attrition in district health visitors,” he said. Furlong said more research should have gone into dengue in T&T and that the health care services were too inundated with everyday health care issues to deal with these diseases when they spread. “When any increased morbidity comes along the system cannot deal with it,” the MPATT head said. “Therefore the people entering the system with dengue are getting compromised care, as are the others in the system for other reasons. “Since dengue has been endemic in the region and in T&T, what have we done to increase research and development and keep abreast of new technology, laboratory-wise and otherwise, to manage something like this illness? “One wonders what would happen if we are really to have a disaster, such as the earthquake that occurred in Haiti.” (Trinidad Express)

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