31 May 2010

Fiji health officials to meet villagers over typhoid vaccination plans

7:12 pm on 31 May 2010

Health authorities in Fiji are meeting with village headmen and nurses tomorrow

ahead of a plan to vaccinate 5 thousand people at risk of typhoid on Viti Levu.

Fiji has declared a public health emergency after three deaths and one hundred suspected cases mainly in the island's inland Navosa Province.

A health ministry spokesman, Iliesa Tora, says at the meeting authorities will discuss banning movement and activities under the Public Health Act to stop the disease spreading.

"It is actually to explain why we are taking certain steps like banning grog drinking, stopping social gathering, stopping the movement, trying to limit the movement of people in and out of the area, explain the vaccination programme and also what they need to do long-term with the sanitation and water issues."

Mr Tora says authorities may have to use helicopters to drop health workers and vaccines into the province's ten remote villages which will take part in the two week long programme.