Statement by the Prime Minister on Action Relating to Health Emergency

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (centre), addresses a press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister on October 9, to give an update on the national health emergency response. Others (from left) are: Acting Director General, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Richard Thompson; Information Minister, Senator Hon. Sandrea Falconer; Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson; and Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey (left).

Story Highlights

  • I want to stress that we are in a NATIONAL emergency. I have therefore, assumed a lead role in mobilising the nation and national resources.
  • I have already made public the fact that two weeks ago I activated the National Response Mechanism in an effort to channel more resources – both human and financial – to dealing with the ChikV outbreak.
  • I have made a call to the nation for persons to take personal responsibility for removing containers, and clearing areas in which water settles, and where mosquitoes can lay eggs and multiply.

I thank you for responding positively at short notice to my invitation to attend this meeting to be updated on the measures being taken by the Government to respond to the current public health emergencies as a result of:

 

  1. The continuing spread of the Chikungunya Virus; and
  2. The global threat of the Ebola Virus.

 

CHIKV RESPONSE

 

I want to stress that we are in a NATIONAL emergency. I have therefore, assumed a lead role in mobilising the nation and national resources.

 

This is not a task for Government alone. All stakeholders have a vital role to play.

 

I have already made public the fact that two weeks ago I activated the National Response Mechanism in an effort to channel more resources – both human and financial – to dealing with the ChikV outbreak.

 

I sympathise with those persons across Jamaica who have come down with this painful illness. I understand that some MPs even as we speak, are out with the Virus.

 

I want to commend MPs, Mayors and Councillors who have been active in encouraging your constituents to get involved in the only sustainable way to control and reduce the epidemic – which is, to destroy and reduce mosquito breeding sites. I know some MPs have themselves been active in their communities leading the effort.

 

I have made a call to the nation for persons to take personal responsibility for removing containers, and clearing areas in which water settles, and where mosquitoes can lay eggs and multiply.

 

We have called on State resources to provide $500 million to address some critical areas of the national health emergency response. The objective is to reduce mosquito breeding sites starting with the worst affected areas as indicated by the mapping that has been done by the Ministry of Health…READ MORE

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