1 May 2007

Fiji's health department discredits students findings

10:41 am on 1 May 2007

Fiji's health department is publicly discrediting a group of students findings that some water supplies in the country's northern division are contaminated.

Students from the All Saints secondary school tested water samples from 8 residential areas in Fiji's northern division, and found five of the areas tested positive to coliform bacteria, which can cause typhoid.

The director of the Northern Health Division, Dr Ami Chandra, says the health department has tested the water supplies and found them to be safe.

He says the students methodology was very basic and subject to their own contamination and their results are biased and not reflective of the true picture.

"If that were the case, the way it was reported, then we would have the whole school affected with typhoid or people suffering from minimum of diarrhea etc. but there's nobody even reported sick there. We do our own testing plus the public health department has got its own national reference regulatory and they have been testing it as well so water supply is not a problem."

Dr Chandra says the school should have come to the health department to verify their findings before they were made public.