Fiji plans to set up research center on communicable diseases

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-29 13:43:40|Editor: Li Xia
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SUVA, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The Fiji Institute of Pacific Health Research is looking for funds to set up a research centre to conduct an in-depth analysis of communicable diseases as well as address water-sensitive diseases which are causing deaths in Fiji and becoming a burden to taxpayers.

The situation was a burden on Fiji's health sector, Fiji College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Associate Dean Research Donald Wilson was quoted as saying by Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's news website on Monday.

Wilson said there was now a re-emergence of communicable diseases that had been dealt with in the past decades, like Tuberculosis for an instance and there are countries in the Pacific particularly that are now becoming high burden TB countries.

He said the centre will also carry out research on how to address water-sensitive diseases which are causing deaths in Fiji.

In Fiji, the 2017 data on tuberculosis published by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services indicated that, 49 out of every 100,000 Fijians had tuberculosis and about four of those infected succumbed to the disease.

Fiji also continued to struggle with leptospirosis, typhoid, and dengue.

Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services had declared an outbreak of leptospirosis in January after 69 cases of leptospirosis in Suva was reported and four deaths recorded.

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria that affects both humans and animals. Humans get leptospirosis through contact with the urine of infected animals.

This often happens through contact with mud, water, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

Farmers who work with animals are at higher risk of getting this disease, however the recent outbreak was also affecting people who did non-animal related work in Fiji.

Recent heavy rains and flooding are likely to have contributed to the increase in cases, according to Fiji's Ministry of Health.