Thu | Dec 12, 2019

Hanover councillors claim health department’s report misleading

Published:Monday | November 18, 2019 | 12:12 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Councillors of the Hanover Municipal Corporation have shot down the parish’s health department’s report which was tabled during the corporation’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday, November 14, claiming it was misleading to all concerned.

The councillors were especially angry at the report’s mention on the dengue situation in Hanover, as well as the wording used by health personnel in the report.

For the first time since January, the Hanover Health Department was reporting that there was a dengue outbreak in the parish, with some 657 suspected cases having been reported, plus seven suspected deaths from the mosquito-borne disease.

Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels voiced his annoyance during the meeting that, to date, the corporation has not heard how many confirmed cases of dengue are in the parish.

“We have been hearing about outbreak and, at the same time, you cannot tell us how many confirmed cases there are for it to be an outbreak. How can we have more than 600 suspected cases and say it is an outbreak?” Samuels asked.

“My common sense tells me that you cannot say it’s an outbreak based on the number of suspected cases. So if there is an outbreak of dengue let us know, and speak the truth,” Samuels urged.

But Hanover’s chief public health inspector, Patricia Hall-Patterson, was steadfast in her presentation, declaring that Hanover has a dengue outbreak based on Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton’s recent declaration of a national outbreak. According to her, more than 200 suspected cases were reported in Hanover for the month of October.

However, that was not enough to appease Samuels, who insisted that the health department should be honest about the dengue figures.

“In Hanover, we have one confirmed death of dengue and 600-plus suspected cases of dengue, and we say we have an outbreak. If there is an outbreak, there must be more confirmed cases, and we want the health department to be honest with us and say so,” said Samuels.

In the meantime, residents of Hanover are being urged to take the necessary precautions to eradicate the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads dengue fever.