Filariasis completely eliminated from Vanuatu; womens’ achievements celebrated on International Day for Rural Women

No longer in Vanuatu: Filariasis. Image: CDC/Alexander J. da Silva, PhD/Melanie Moser/CDC Public Health Image Library

No longer in Vanuatu: Filariasis. Image: Alexander J. da Silva, PhD/Melanie Moser/CDC Public Health Image Library

The news is just out today. Vanuatu has eliminated filariasis. The World Health Organisation (WHO) DG for the Western Pacific made the announcement in the Philippines with Health Minister Toara Daniel present at a reception honouring the achievement. Cambodia and the Cook Islands have also eliminated the disease, also known as elephantiasis, or in Bislama as big leg. A campaign to eradicate the disease has needed regular drug applications, a singular success in a small country with so many islands. (Daily Post)

The International Day for Rural Women was launched at Erakor village this week by Read the rest of this entry »


New Attorney General appointed; new Mystery Island jetty opened; Codex Alimentarius meeting for Vila

The new pier at Mystery Island (Inyeug) is officially opened. Photo: John Salong

The new jetty at Mystery Island (Inyeug) is officially opened, replacing the two lost during Cyclone Pam. Photo: John Salong

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Zika virus outbreak possible in Vanuatu, says WHO

Electron microscope image of the Zika Virus

Electron microscope image of Zika Virus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3 August 2016: There is no Zika virus reported in Vanuatu at the present time. Several cases have however been reported in Fiji. Zika is mainly of concern to pregnant women, due to the possibility of neonatal defects, and Vanuatu’s Dept of Health remains vigilant.

The World Health Organisation in Vanuatu is warning of the possibility of an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. There were some cases here two years ago, Dr Jacob Kool of the WHO reminded readers of The Independent.

Mild fever, rashes, red eyes and conjunctivitis, muscular pain and headaches are symptoms. They are similar to the symptoms of dengue, and are spread by the same type of mosquito (Aedes aegypti).

However, the disease has broken out in South America and babies born of mothers suffering from it can suffer from microcephaly, or abnormally small head size.

Any dengue-type symptoms should be reported to clinical services.

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Aedes aegypti mosquito. Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Zika virus was first reported in Vanuatu in April 2015, but has not been observed since.


More information on Zika virus:

Vanuatu daily news digest | 6 February 2013

Vanuatu Meteorological Services have just released a tsunami advisory following a 8.0 earthquake in the Santa Cruz Islands north of Vanuatu. The advisory reads:

Tsunami Advisory Number 2 for Vanuatu issued by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department at 1:30 pm Wednesday, February 06, 2013

At 12:12 pm local time today 06th February 2013, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 was located at 10.9 degrees south, 165.1 Degrees East. This is about 575 kilometers north northwest of Luganville, Santo.

An earthquake of this size has the potential to cause destructive Tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advises people throughout Vanuatu to take appropriate action and precautionary measures upon receiving this advisory. This includes immediate evacuation from coastal areas and to higher grounds.

People throughout northern and central Vanuatu who have moved to high grounds are asked to remain. Those who have not, are asked to do so.

People are advised to continue to listen to all radio outlets. The next advisory will be updated today at 2.30 pm today.

The Prime Minister’s Office wants the Police to investigate whether Hilaire Bule has defamed PM Kilman in last weekend’s Independent newspaper, where he alleged that Pascal Anh Quan Saken contributed USD200,000 to PM Kilman’s 2012 election campaign. Bule says he will offer proof of the transaction this coming weekend in the Independent, VBTC News reported yesterday. As we have reported previously, a police investigation into Anh Quan Saken and the arrival of the Phocea was opened six months ago by the Police Trans-National Crime Unit, but promptly halted by the Government for unspecified reasons. The officer in charge of the investigation, Andrew Kalman, was suspended, and remains so to this day. Patunvanu, however, gets a full page of today’s Daily Post to rant in. It seems he views the media revelations about Phocea as a “conspiracy against Vanuatu” and calls for an Ombudsman report. What a good idea. An Ombudsman report on Saken’s illegal activities with the Phocea and Government Ministers might finally reveal why members of the Government of this nation are getting into bed with an alleged drug and arms smuggler.

Speaking of libellious statements, Vanuatu blogger Phil Manhire strenuously denies all assertions by Jeff Joel Patunvanu that he is associated with Pascal Anh Quan Saken. As well as blogging, Manhire sits on the board of Vanuatu Youth Against Corruption.

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