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October 2015
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Officials Arrested For Stealing Chemical Used To Fight Dengue Fever

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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