Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kosovo: Officials say spread of meningitis epidemic "under full control"

Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive

Prishtina [Pristina], 22 August: The officials of the University Clinical Centre (UCC) and those of the Infective Diseases Clinic said today that the number of patients with meningitis epidemic disease is decreasing, a disease which was spread during summer in Kosova [Kosovo], with 430 persons hospitalized.

These comments were made following a visit by the prime minister of Kosova, Agim Ceku, accompanied by the health minister, Sadik Idriz, and the head of UCC in the Infective Diseases Clinic in order to get informed how the meningitis epidemics was being handled.

Prime Minister Ceku expressed his belief that this epidemic is under full control of the UCC, National Institute for Public Health (IKSHP), Ministry of Health and also the World Health Organization (WHO).

"I was assured by the leaders of the Infective Diseases Clinic and UCC that the situation is under full control. The Infective Diseases Clinic has sufficient capacities in staff and medicaments to handle this disease," said Prime Minister Ceku.

Ceku also said that he was informed by health officials that there are 72 viruses that could cause this disease.

"Samples have been sent to Rome by the WHO, and we are expecting the results, therefore I did not see the situation as worrying," he stated.

Prime Minister Ceku said that more must be done in raising the awareness of the people about this disease, in improving the conditions of the drinking water and in improving the hygiene conditions, adding that the Ministry of Health and UCC has embarked on a meningitis awareness campaign.

He also praised the medical staff of Infective Diseases Clinic and those of UCC for their efforts in dealing with this disease.

Prime Minister Ceku furthermore said that government had provided the required funds asked by the UCC to deal with meningitis, adding that 5,000 euros was given for medicaments and further 5,000 euros for the awareness campaign."

Meanwhile, Muharrem Bajrami, the Head of the Infective Diseases Clinic, said that fortunately they had managed to very successfully deal with this disease.

On the other hand, the chief executive of UCC, Fadil Beka, said that they are in touch with everyone and that they have supplied with drugs the Infective Diseases Clinic when it was necessary.

Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 22 Aug 06

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