12 Jul 2012

Samoa's ministry of health reports increase in typhoid cases

10:35 am on 12 July 2012

Typhoid fever cases in Samoa have increased dramatically since April with more than one hundred cases reported to the ministry.

A health consultant Leausa Dr Take Naseri says the ministry suspects a lack of food hygiene is the major cause of the outbreak recently.

Dr Naseri says the ministry is looking at preventative measures such as licensing all food handlers in the country from shops to village stores, restaurants, food stalls and also mobile food sellers in villages.

He says this will make sure food safety is a priority and should also prevent an outbreak of typhoid fever in the future.

Dr Naseri has also confirmed the outbreak of the disease in April at Tafaigata prison has been contained.

But he also adds the ministry has advised the Police Commissioner to consider medical check-ups on people facing a 3 to 6 month sentence before they begin their jail terms.

He says such a policy would prevent any more outbreaks of communicable and non communicable diseases in prisons.