No need to worry about Crimean-Congo fever: health minister

Tehran, July 4, IRNA – Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi has assured Iranians not to be worried about the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), saying proper monitoring and controlling measures have been taken to tackle the issue.

Qazizdeh Hashemi who made the remarks on the sidelines of his one-day trip to Pakdasht County in southeast of Tehran, called on people not to pay attention to rumors in this regard.

The health minister added that if there is any risk of CCHF in the country, citizens will be informed via local or national media, ISNA reported.

“The Veterinary Organization, Agriculture Ministry and our colleagues in health facilities have control over cases infected by the fever,” the minister insisted.

Recently Press TV, quoting Health Ministry official Mohammad Reza Shirzadi, reported three deaths have occurred as a result of CCHF. The losses were recorded in the western province of Kermanshah, Khorasan Razavi in the northeast, and Mazandaran Province in the north.

A total of nine people, according to Press TV, were diagnosed with the disease since the current Iranian calendar year started on March 21.

CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40%.

CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asian countries south of the 50th parallel north.

Health Facilities Must Increase

In another development, Qazizadeh Hashemi said that there must be a health facility for each 12,500 citizens.

Qazizdeh Hashemi made the remarks on the sidelines of his visit to Imam Reza Health Facility in the rural area of Qiamdasht in the central district of Rey County.

The minister also acknowledged that the number of hospital beds must increase and that the working hours of facilities should be extended round the clock in the county so that citizens won’t need to commute to Tehran for medical treatment.

He believes that the most important problem that people face in the area has always been in the health sector and expressed hope to have it solved very soon.

The minister said that when he took office 23 months ago his main concern was to promote healthcare services in the remote and border areas.

“However it is hard to believe that counties around Tehran are far more deprived than border areas,” he lamented.

Overall healthcare services are not satisfactory around Tehran so much so that for every 100,000 people there is not even one hospital bed, he said.

The medical facilities are not enough in these regions and they offer very limited daily services.

Since appointed health minister, Qazizdeh Hashemi has taken great steps to reform the health system. Under his leadership most Iranians have been granted health insurance.

According to opinion polls, he is considered as the most popular minister in the Rouhani cabinet, even superseding Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.