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WHO urges communities to approach health care providers if they experience skin rash

WHO urges communities to approach health care providers if they experience skin rash

WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur (Photo/WHO)

DILI, 16 august 2022 (TATOLI) – WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur calls on communities to approach health care providers if they experience fever and unexplained skin rash.

“Anyone, who notices a new or unexplained skin rash or other monkeypox symptoms such as fever, body aches, and fatigue should immediately approach the healthcare providers either at Community Healthcare Centers, or Health Posts to let them know you have monkeypox symptoms,” Mathur told reporters at the WHO-TL’s Meeting Room, in Dili, on tuesday.

He said the health care providers are also obliged to cooperate with any person who experiences fevers and rash to carry out the test.

“Any person of any age group who is fevered with rash needs to be utterly investigated. The sample can be collected, and we can run the test whether it is for chicken pox, measles, or monkeypox,” he said.

Mathur said although the risk of monkeypox in Timor-Leste is very low, the country must remain vigilant: “Our health care providers are trained and prepared to provide advice with the prevention of the monkeypox outbreak in the country.”

“Preventive measures such as hand hygiene, wearing masks, and distancing will help to prevent ourselves from infectious diseases like monkeypox. So, everyone feels fully assured and confident and your actions can actually make you prevent the spread of the transmission of transmissible diseases like monkeypox.”

“So let us put collectively our efforts and protect one another. I would like to say that the health system is prepared and our health care providers are trained to provide the right information and undertake the right action for every one of us,” he said.

Over the past few months since monkeypox cases began surfacing in different parts of the globe, the Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from WHO Timor-Leste has conducted six training sessions for staff at points of entry like airport and land crossings and healthcare providers including doctors, nurses and midwives from HNGV and referral hospitals.

The WHO has also extended technical assistance for the development of preparedness and response plan, risk communication, and national guidelines for the prevention, detection, care, and treatment of monkeypox.

Last week, the WHO handed over 750 reactions of PCR test kits to the MoH for testing and diagnosis of monkeypox in Timor-Leste.

Monkeypox, a viral disease, was confirmed in may 2022. The initial cluster of cases was found in the UK, where the first case was identified on may 6, 2022, in a person with travel links to Nigeria.

On july 23, the WHO Director-General declared the escalating global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Since 1 january 2022, monkeypox cases have been reported from 75 member states across all six WHO regions. As of 7 August 2022, a total of 27,814 laboratory-confirmed cases and 11 deaths have been reported to the WHO.

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 

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