The government of President Nasheed seem to have been defeated for a second time in a row in a matter of just one week. First, the government team was defeated by the MDP parliamentarians in a football match held to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Party. Later today, the government was defeated in its tracks by the Party when it announced it was spearheading an awareness campaign to combat the dengue fever which has taken the lives of five children in a matter of 48 hours. The media has now revealed the formation by the government, of a national task force comprising of the health minister, home minister, education minister, finance minister, defense minister, Male’ city council mayor, and an under secretary of the President’s Office.
The public health crisis facing the nation which has cost more than seven lives according to media reports, have been unattended to by the Health Ministry in the confusion within the administration as to where the responsibility lies. Media reports have indicated that responsibility for public health lies within the jurisdiction of the local councils, which is hard to believe. The health ministry has been quiet on the crisis which, some claim has been in the air for the past two months around the country.
Professionals and public health experts as well as members of the intelligentsia who have expressed their concerns in the social media, and commentators in the online mainstream media have hit hard at the government for its inaction and ill-response. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives has also joined in the cry, expressing its concerns in a press release issued today.
The press secretary of the President’s Office who announced the formation of the national task force gave no further details except that there would be a media campaign and that appropriate measures to curb the crisis through various agencies of the government.
The public seems to be in need of a Chief Public Health Officer who can be held accountable.