Dra. Odete da Silva Viegas (Image Tatoli/António Gonçalves)

DILI, 19 january 2022 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Health (MoH) had planned to use the Tasi Tolu isolation center to accommodate the patients with dengue who required hospitalization to prevent the overcrowded patients at the Guido Valadares National Hospital, Vera Cruz Health Care Centers and etc.

“We are currently concerned with the lack of spaces to accommodate patients with dengue who need hospitalization. If the isolation room in Vera Cruz is overcrowded, we have the possibility to use the Tasi Tolu isolation center. As this place is a good alternative to anticipate any worst scenery that may occur next month,” said  the Director-General of Health Services Delivery of the MoH, Odete Viegas, at Vera Cruz Health Care Center, in Dili, on wednesday.

She said it was necessary to ensure enough human resources, especially doctors to provide treatment to people with dengue.

“We spoke yesterday with the Timor-Leste Red Cross to support MoH with doctors and nurses in providing treatment to patients with dengue. If the situation gets worse, we will request municipal health professionals for help. It’s expected that in february or march, we will see more cases of dengue,” she said.

Viegas also underlined that three Cuban doctors are currently providing treatment to patients at the Vera Cruz Health Care Center.

“During the month of january, we recorded an increase in the number of dengue cases. It is up to the Ministry of Health to solve the problem. Meanwhile, the Guido Valadares National Hospital and other health care centers had recorded a drastic increase in the number of dengue patients. We must therefore look for more spaces as an alternative to accommodate the patients with dengue,” she said.

Viegas recalled that, since january 5, more than 200 patients had been hospitalized at the Vera Cruz Health Care Center.

“Yesterday, 204 patients were discharged from this health care center. We currently have 106 patients suffering from this pathology,” she  informed.

Viegas added that health professionals, particularly doctors and pediatricians continue to provide medical care for patients with dengue.

In addition, Viegas said that collaboration between all entities is vital to combat dengue outbreaks in the country.

“MoH had been working in partnership with the President of the Dili Municipality Authority, the heads of villages, and hamlets to implement preventive measures, especially by raising the awareness of the communities to take immediate actions in combating the dengue,” she added.

Last year, the country reported 900 people with dengue, while  more than 500 cases had been registered in early 2022 alone, with nine deaths so far.

Viegas recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) had supported the MoH with dengue fever test kit

“The team is preparing to distribute larvicide and fumigation to those municipalities with the highest number of dengue cases. However, currently, we need to focus our action in Dili,” he stressed.

Vera Cruz Center needs a quality laboratory

The Head of Hospitalization of Vera Cruz Health Care Center, Romel Braz requested the Ministry of Health to arrange a quality laboratory to diagnose patients with dengue.

“We currently have a laboratory, but it doesn’t work properly. We, therefore, need a new, and better-equipped laboratory to diagnose the patient with dengue symptoms at Vera Cruz Health Care Center.

‘We must create suitable conditions. We have already submitted the proposal and expect a response as early as next week”.

Braz said Vera Cruz has 115 beds and more than 50 health professionals are currently giving medical treatment to the hospitalized patients with dengue.

He said that at the moment the health care center has enough medicines and medical equipment.

So far, the Dili Municipal Health Service (DMHS) has registered more than 460 health professionals.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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