Statistics from the SANMA Rural Health Centre over the last three months have indicated that the number of deaths associated with Leptospirosis have increased to five since November 2020 and more than 25 associated cases.
This figure was confirmed by the SANMA Northern Health Care Promotion and Communication officer Casimir Liwuslili who deemed the fatalities and associated cases as “alarming” for the country.
“Lepto has a cure and anyone feeling any signs and symptoms related to the disease must go the nearby health facility quickly for a test to get the right treatment because Lepto kills fast,” he said.
Liwuslili said Leptospirosis share similar symptoms with other diseases like Malaria so at times Nurses may not even consider a Leptospirosis diagnosis until it is too late.
Director of Public Health, Dr Len Tarivonda corroborated this theory and stated that the Ministry of Health is raising awareness to all clinics to “consider leptospirosis as a possible diagnosis.”
When questioned if a misdiagnosis was responsible for the lives lost in Santo, the Director of Public Health replied, “not thinking about something is different from misdiagnosed”.
As for eradicating the problem to save more lives, Dr Tarivonda stated that all the rats in affected communities cannot simply be killed, “it is impossible”.
According to Dr Tarivonda the best action plan is community awareness – “rats are everywhere like malaria you get rid of the parasite not mosquitoes, it is impossible to get rid of the rats, they’re only the vector.”
While Leptospirosis may have been overlooked in urban clinics it is clearly building an infamous reputation in Santo which has forced the SANMA Northern Health Communication Officer to advocate for clean settings.
“It is very important that each family keep their homes and surrounding environment clean to reduce the spread of this disease,” he said.
“Now with the increase and spread of these bacterial and viral disease, it is also very important that everyone must practise hand washing at all times to help reduce these diseases.”
SANMA Health officials confirmed that the continuous rainfall during this La Nina Session, have contributed adversely to spreading this harmful disease.
Casimir confirmed the disease has been detected on villages on South Santo, Peleru, villages on the Eastern side of Santo and even in the urban communities.
SANMA Health authorities working tirelessly to provide as much awareness as possible on the disease to both the urban and rural communities.