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    Officials Arrested For Stealing Chemical Used To Fight Dengue Fever /
    14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa
    Posted on October 14, 2015

    14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa, Holguin, 14 October 2015 — Several
    directors and heads of health districts in Holguin have been arrested
    for their links with the illegal sale of permethrin, a chemical used
    to fumigate against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for
    the dengue fever epidemic that affects this eastern province. A
    government source told 14ymedio that the officials must answer for the
    crime of “spreading the epidemic,” because the “diversion of resources”
    complicates the fight against the vector.

    Permethrin has reached the price of 1,500 pesos per liter in the
    informal market, where it is sold to fumigate certain crops. Lacking
    permethrin, the authorities resort to petroleum in a gaseous state,
    which is less effective, to fumigate the mosquito foci.

    After a year of an epidemic scourge of both dengue fever and cholera,
    Holguin continues to experience a complex healthcare situation, despite
    having spent 26 million pesos on local sanitation. Despite the
    fumigation campaigns and other hygiene measures, the number of patients
    suffering from dengue fever and cholera remains high, as does the
    prevalence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as corroborated by Elizabeth
    Segura Sierra, the provincial director of health, on a local radio

    This official also reported on the same broadcast that the presence of
    cholera has recently been confirmed in the towns of Rafael Freyre,
    Cueto, Cacocum, Gibara and Holguin, with the greatest number of reported
    cases in the latter. Segura Sierra insisted that there is still a risk
    of returning to the situation faced in August, when a health emergency
    led to a suspension of the Carnival celebration, the closure of dining
    establishments and a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in bulk.
    These measures caused great economic damage to both the State and the
    private sector. “Let no one think that these outbreaks have been
    eliminated, the cholera virus and dengue fever still exist in the area,”
    the official said.

    Operators engaged in fumigation are working more than eight hours a day,
    for low wages and in bad conditions. This has generated a shortage of
    personnel, forcing the mobilization of 650 officials to do this work in
    August and September. Of these, 450 came from the healthcare sector and
    200 from municipal bodies.

    The province is in a true state of alarm as is evidenced by the many
    emergency measures being taken. Significant resources have been
    mobilized from other institutions which find themselves obliged to halt
    their normal work and take on the economic loses stemming from the lack
    of productive support.

    At the most critical moment of the outbreak 130 vehicles and five buses
    were used solely to transport patients to the two hospitals equipped to
    deal with the crisis at Celia Sanchez Manduley University in Holguin.

    Source: Officials Arrested For Stealing Chemical Used To Fight Dengue
    Fever / 14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa | Translating Cuba –

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