Dengue deaths increase as BTI bacteria from Cuba is delayed

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 August 2010, 14:05 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s health department is in a fix over the delay in the import of the first consignment of BTI bacteria from Cuba as the number of deaths due to dengue has risen to 149 Friday. Meanwhile, the health ministry has failed to get a positive response from Cuban Embassy in Colombo. The Daily Mirror of August 8 said in its report that controversy surrounds the closure of the Cuban embassy in Colombo while the health ministry was desperately attempting to get a positive response on the import of the first consignment of BTI bacteria from Cuba though three weeks had passed since opening the Letter of Credit.

Anti Malaria Campaign Director Dr. Sarath Deniyage, according to the news report, had stated that he had no clue as to when the stock of 10,000 units of BTI from Cuba would reach Colombo as there was no one at the Cuban embassy to answer questions.

The BTI bacteria is being imported as a last ditch measure in the fight to eradicate dengue.

“We have opened an LC for Rs.30 million to import BTI and the Cubans were to start production after they received money and the production order. But the closure of Cuban embassy in Colombo has delayed the process. We are waiting for their response and desperate to get down the BTI stock as early as possible,” Dr. Deniyage said, according to news report.

Several attempts by Colombo media to contact Cuban mission in Colombo also failed as there was no one to respond to telephone calls, e-mails or fax messages.

 

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