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    Deputy Health Minister Calls Situation In Holguin A “Health Emergency” /
    14ymedio, Donate Fernando Ochoa
    Posted on August 8, 2015

    14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa, Holguin, 7 August 2015 — The Deputy
    Minister of Public Health, Jose Angel Portal, described the
    epidemiological situation in the city of Holguin as a health emergency,
    according to a local television report. The statement was confirmed this
    Friday during a meeting to assess the epidemiological measures in the
    provincial capital to halt the spread of dengue fever in the area.

    Deputy Minister Portal said that although the epidemiological situation
    of the country is one of the most favorable in recent years, Holguin is
    facing “a public health emergency in which there can be no room for
    carelessness and mistakes.” He emphasized that “people’s lives are at
    stake,” although he also said that currently, “it is more a perception
    of risk and we’re heading down the right path.”

    For his part, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Holguin,
    Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, criticized the directors of the state
    agencies for allowing there to be foci of the Aedes aegypti mosquitos in
    their workplaces. The official criticized that situations like this go
    on despite the great offensive that takes place in all social and
    business sectors.

    The provincial Government vice president, Marcia Aguero, called for more
    action by the state health inspectors with regards to fining offenders –
    people with mosquitoes breeding sites on their property. In this regard
    she noted that the number of penalties applied is minuscule relative to
    the violations committed.

    Public health directors emphasized that the high prevalence of foci
    persists, including uncovered water tanks and closed houses that haven’t
    been inspected. They also reported an increase in cases of cholera in
    the area.

    Also present at the meeting was Ines Maria Chapman, a member of the
    Council of State, who called attention to the water rationing because of
    the drought which is expected to get worse in the coming months, and
    which could further complicate the situation in Holguin.

    Deputy Minister Portal stated that Cuba has extensive experience in the
    management of dengue fever, to which he will give his full attention,
    and added that in reversing the situation in the province they can count
    on sufficient health professionals and they are the best in the country.

    Dr. Jorge Luis Quiñones Aguilar, head of the provincial department of
    Education and Health Promotion, said that cases of fever and cases of
    diarrhea are continuing to appear, with most of the latter testing
    positive for cholera.

    Quiñones Aguilar said that given the large numbers of patients flocking
    to hospitals it has been decided to have a fourth hospital, located on
    the campus of Celia Sanchez Manduley University. He acknowledged that
    positive tests for dengue fever continue to increase with a figure now
    over 90%; that is of 100 cases of patients with fever, most of them are
    positive for dengue.

    “We should not underestimate any kind of fever in our homes. If we know
    a neighbor who does not want to go to the hospital we must report it
    without fear and anonymously,” said Quiñones Aguilar.

    He said that so far Holguin has not had a lamentable loss of life from
    this outbreak of dengue fever, but that there are patients in serious
    danger of dying.

    Source: Deputy Health Minister Calls Situation In Holguin A “Health
    Emergency” / 14ymedio, Donate Fernando Ochoa | Translating Cuba –

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