Indonesia: Dengue fever outbreaks reported in many regions

Syamsul Huda M. Suhari, The Jakarta Post 20 Jan 16;

Dengue fever cases have been reported in many regions across the country with hospitals reportedly overwhelmed by patients.

Management of the Aloei Saboe General Hospital, the only reference hospital in Gorontalo province, confirmed there had been a substantial rise in the number of dengue hemorrhagic fever patient cases.

Hospital director Dr. Andang Ilato confirmed the rise in the number of dengue fever cases since December last year, although it has not yet been categorized as an extraordinary occurrence (KLB).

“Patients from every regency have been referred here for various reasons, such as a lack of clinical and hospital capacity in the regencies, so we’ve been overwhelmed with patients,” said Andang.

Currently, he said, the hospital was only equipped with 350 in-patient beds, but the number of patients stood at 450, 20 percent above capacity. “We’re still treating them, but not in in-patient wards, but in the hospital corridors,” said Andang.

The hospital recorded 105 patients positively infected by dengue fever, seven of them suffering from Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) due to hemorrhaging who are currently undergoing intensive treatment.

Regarding the supply of medicine, despite depletion, he stressed the hospital had sufficient stock until the end of January.

Despite being treated in a hospital corridor, the relative of one patient praised the hospital’s services. “We are resigned to the fact that the wards are completely full,” said Husin Hadji whose granddaughter Pratiwi, 10, had been treated in a corridor reserved for children for the past three days.

Head of Gorontalo’s Indonesia Ombudsman representative office Alim S. Niode said that based on observation, there had been a number of findings of a lack of public services. “The Ombudsman has found Gorontalo City Health Office is still weak in coordinating efforts to prevent the spread of dengue fever, while community health clinics [puskesmas] are ineffective at running their functions,” Alim said on Tuesday.

Besides that, he said, the district and village administrations had not been optimal in providing information to the public on the importance of environmental hygiene.

In East Nusa Tenggara, the Kupang City Health Office is currently focusing on fumigating a number of locations in the provincial capital currently facing a dengue fever outbreak.

“Based on an epidemiology field survey, the health office has taken measures to focus on fumigation,” said Kupang City Health Office healthcare division head Sri Wahyuningsih as quoted by Antara on Monday.

Sri said nine dengue fever patients were currently in intensive care at the hospital. She added that the number had risen compared to earlier this month when five cases were recorded.

In Banten, the number of dengue fever patients getting treatment at hospitals and puskesmas in Lebak regency stood at 32 as of Sunday.

“We urge residents to be alert to the spread of dengue fever, keeping in mind the current rainy season during which the aedes aegypti mosquito can multiply,” said head of Lebak Health Office’s Contagious Disease Prevention and Environmental Health Affairs Firman Rahmatullah in Lebak on Sunday.

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