Deputy Health Minister Calls Situation In Holguin A “Health Emergency”
14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa, Holguin, 7 August 2015 — The Deputy
Minister of Public Health, Jose Angel Portal, described the
epidemiological situation in the city of Holguin as a health emergency,
according to a local television report. The statement was confirmed this
Friday during a meeting to assess the epidemiological measures in the
provincial capital to halt the spread of dengue fever in the area.
Deputy Minister Portal said that although the epidemiological situation
of the country is one of the most favorable in recent years, Holguin is
facing “a public health emergency in which there can be no room for
carelessness and mistakes.” He emphasized that “people’s lives are at
stake,” although he also said that currently, “it is more a perception
of risk and we’re heading down the right path.”
For his part, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Holguin,
Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, criticized the directors of the state
agencies for allowing there to be foci of the Aedes aegypti mosquitos in
their workplaces. The official criticized that situations like this go
on despite the great offensive that takes place in all social and
The provincial Government vice president, Marcia Aguero, called for more
action by the state health inspectors with regards to fining offenders –
people with mosquitoes breeding sites on their property. In this regard
she noted that the number of penalties applied is minuscule relative to
the violations committed.
Public health directors emphasized that the high prevalence of foci
persists, including uncovered water tanks and closed houses that haven’t
been inspected. They also reported an increase in cases of cholera in
Also present at the meeting was Ines Maria Chapman, a member of the
Council of State, who called attention to the water rationing because of
the drought which is expected to get worse in the coming months, and
which could further complicate the situation in Holguin.
Deputy Minister Portal stated that Cuba has extensive experience in the
management of dengue fever, to which he will give his full attention,
and added that in reversing the situation in the province they can count
on sufficient health professionals and they are the best in the country.
Dr. Jorge Luis Quiñones Aguilar, head of the provincial department of
Education and Health Promotion, said that cases of fever and cases of
diarrhea are continuing to appear, with most of the latter testing
positive for cholera.
Quiñones Aguilar said that given the large numbers of patients flocking
to hospitals it has been decided to have a fourth hospital, located on
the campus of Celia Sanchez Manduley University. He acknowledged that
positive tests for dengue fever continue to increase with a figure now
over 90%; that is of 100 cases of patients with fever, most of them are
positive for dengue.
“We should not underestimate any kind of fever in our homes. If we know
a neighbor who does not want to go to the hospital we must report it
without fear and anonymously,” said Quiñones Aguilar.
He said that so far Holguin has not had a lamentable loss of life from
this outbreak of dengue fever, but that there are patients in serious
danger of dying.
Source: Deputy Health Minister Calls Situation In Holguin A “Health
Emergency” / 14ymedio, Donate Fernando Ochoa | Translating Cuba –