The proliferation of diseases from one part of the world to the other is a major concern for all nations. It is one of the consequences of the migratory movement of people. Vulnerability is more than ever increasing. No country is safe. Avian flu, AIDS, dengue and lately chikungunya in certain regions are now a world wide threat. Increased awareness, preventive and protective measures in a well-coordinated and integrated approach to health preparedness planning systems are vital in mitigating the impacts on people’s health and the economy, and damage to infrastructure.
Health is wealth, goes the adage. It is important for every one of us to stop a while on this day when World Health Day is being celebrated the world over, and to ponder on what we can do to address the health issues facing the world. In Mauritius the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has organized an exhibition from 4 to 7 April at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre at Bell Village, Port Louis, on this year’s theme, International health security. Each exhibitor sensitized visitors, mainly school children, around a particular health issue:
(i) the Ministry of Health & Quality of Life focused on the outbreak and methods of chikungunya proliferation and the prevention strategies in place;
(ii) the Ministry of Ago-Industry’s concern was the avian flu;
(iii) Environment Protection Act and Air quality standards were the issues addressed by the Ministry of Environment;
(iv) the Civil Aviation Department dealt with aircraft noise pollution;
(v) the Meteorological Services addressed the issue of climate change and its impact on human health; and
(vi) the Mauritius Tourism Authority exposed the problem of garbage and pest control.
The exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of Health & Quality of Life on 4 April. He highlighted his ministry’s successful campaign in the control of chikungunya which has not shown any sign of reappearance since August last year despite adverse weather conditions.