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Operation Namu is Underway

Aimed at halting the current dengue outbreak on Rarotonga, Operation Namu21 continues this week, with health ministry Te Marae Ora leading and coordinating a government-wide, multi-ministry approach to stopping the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

Representatives from all ministries involved – including TMO, Office of the Public Service Commissioner, Infrastructure Cook Islands, Ministry of Agriculture, National Environment Service, Ministry of Finance & Economic Management, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, the Cook Islands Police Service, and others – met yesterday and were briefed on their various duties and responsibilities. The Operation Order for Operation Namu21 was endorsed by Cabinet on Tuesday.

Spearheading Operation Namu21 is today’s one-day mass cleaning campaign, which most of the aforementioned government agencies will be directly involved in, working alongside the various puna around the island.

The one-day mass cleaning campaign is a beach to backroad type exercise that will see the collection of all rubbish lying on the beach or side of the road, in an attempt to reduce mosquito breeding and resting sites. This activity will not enter private properties or businesses.

“Te Marae Ora would like to thank all the ministries involved for their support thus far,” said Secretary of Health Bob Williams. “And we look forward to your continuous support for the remainder of Operation Namu21.”

“Te Marae Ora also acknowledges the invaluable input, expertise and local knowledge of all our puna staff members at this time as well,” he added.

Extra duties taken on by the puna during Operation Namu21 include providing support to the Public Health Response Team, identifying high-risk mosquito breeding spots within their local areas, and providing planning and resourcing support to relevant team leaders throughout the operation.

Operation Namu21 is being overseen by Health National Command & Coordination team leader Dr Tereapii Uka, the Director of Public Health, who will report directly to the Secretary of Health.

Dr Uka is responsible for monitoring the implementation of Operation Namu21 and maintaining a logistical record of the activities involved. He will also provide daily updates to the Secretary on the operation’s progress.

After the one-day mass cleaning campaign today, further Operation Namu21 activities will commence from Monday, February 15, beginning with a two-week long mass spraying campaign from Tupapa to Matavera.

ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486