With 55 cases of leptospirosis recorded since the start of the year until Thursday June 27, the Ministry of Health wants to take the bull by the horns to stem the epidemic. An operational plan on leptospirosis has thus been developed and includes several axes.

The leptospirosis situation is worrying, said Health Minister Kailesh Jagutpal on Thursday, June 27, during the multi-sectoral meeting on dengue and leptospirosis. The reason is that instead of the thirty cases that the country recorded every year, the number is already 55 as of June 27. In addition, nine deaths linked to the disease are to be deplored. Forty-four people have already recovered while two are still active, according to the information communicated on Thursday, June 27.

In order to reverse the situation, the Ministry of Health has put in place an operational plan on leptospirosis which includes several axes. Surveillance, epidemiological case definition and case reporting; diagnosis, triage and treatment. There are also leptospirosis control measures with the collaboration of the Ministries of Agro-industry and the Environment as well as other stakeholders. A leptospirosis steering committee to monitor the evolution of the disease has been set up. There will be interventions at the source of infection and risk communication and community engagement will be strengthened. Health places emphasis on prevention and the role of various organizations in detecting cases.

Addressing the press conference of the multi-sectoral committee on dengue and leptospirosis, Minister Jagutpal had pointed out that a preliminary report indicates that the nine deceased patients had comorbidities and were suffering from chronic diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma). As a result, their resistance to infections was weakened due to their low immunity. This contributed to a worsening of their health conditions and was fatal in some cases.

He called on people with symptoms of leptospirosis (high fever with chills, headaches, muscle and joint pain) to go to a health center immediately to receive appropriate treatment, he said. “If you have a problem with your health, you will have to go to a health center,” Minister Jagutpal explained. The deceased were aged between 15 and 70.

According to the established findings, a major problem of poor hygienic practices was identified on a farm in Saint-Martin. Butchers and masons are among those most at risk, but the general public is urged to take precautions. Because rodents can urinate on cans. It is therefore recommended to wash them well before opening them. The Ministry of Health also pointed out that inspections in various businesses have been intensified and that restaurants have had to close their doors due to a rat infestation. Local authorities have also been called upon to ensure that foodstuffs are well protected in markets that have not been eradicated.

In order to better raise public awareness of the threat posed by leptospirosis, an infographic is currently being released to help better understand the measures to take. The population is called upon to keep their environment clean, in order not to attract rodents. Food must be well protected. Garbage collectors, butchers, farmers and people who are exposed to potentially contaminated soil are asked to wear appropriate protective equipment.

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