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Health Ministry to launch handwashing campaign to combat Gastroenteritis

Published:Thursday | February 18, 2010 | 12:49 PM

The health ministry is to embark on a major handwashing campaign to help prevent the spread of gastroenteritis cases.

Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines and is most often caused by a virus.

The most common symptoms are diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Concerns have been raised by health officials about an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases and the impact of the current drought conditions.

Health minister Ruddy Spencer told the post cabinet press briefing a short while ago that $15 million is being sought to fund the campaign.

Meanwhile the chief medical officer Dr Sheila Campbell-Forrester is emphasizing that only water that is treated should be used for drinking in order to prevent the spread of diseases.