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Acute Respiratory Infection Increases in Gbarpolu County

Gbarpolu County – The Acting officer in charge of the Totoquelleh Clinic has alarm that there was an increased in the cases of Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) for the month of July 2016.

Madam Tenneh Manjoe, a registered midwife, said 113 ARI cases were clinically diagnosed out of the total of 330 patients that attended the facility in July.

She described the situation as unusual for the clinic.  According to her, monthly report of ARI in the past saw adult male cases at 50, children under five years at 16 and from patients from 6 to 14 years were at 46.

Including malaria, this result means Acute Respiratory infections is one of the leading causes of morbidity in Liberia, , according to the 2014 World Health Organization (WHO) Country health situation report.

Nurse Manjoe said ARI is an infection that may interfere with normal breathing. She added that it usually begins as viral infection in the nose, trachea (windpipe), or lungs.

Madam Menjoe said if the infection is not treated, “it can spread to the entire respiratory system”.  She added that while they treat this communicable infection at the clinic, they also create awareness every Wednesday during the health talk.

The OIC described cough, headache and running nose as signs and symptoms of the acute respiratory infections. Complication of ARI is extremely serious and can result in permanent damage and even death. Some complications include respiratory arrest, respiratory failure and congestive heart failure.

Health practitioners say there are several ways to prevent ARI including: always sneezing into the arm of your shirt or tissue,  washing hands frequently and avoid touching your face especially your eyes and mouth to prevent germs from going into your system.

Totoquelleh health facility has 6 catchment communities with 2,774 inhabitants. It is part of Bopolu health district control by Gbarpolu County Health.  The clinic has 6 staff of which 2 are professionals while the rest are supportive staffs.  The entire county is divided into five health districts with the total of 16 health facilities across the county.

Report By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.

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