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Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse has announced that some 75 per cent or 43 of the 59 confirmed cases of malaria in the island, have been treated successfully.
Addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday (December 11), to provide an update on the malaria situation, following a report submitted to Cabinet, Dr. DuCasse explained that, “successful treatment meant that the patient would have completed their three-day course of anti-malarial drugs (chloroquine and primoquine in day one and day two and three, chloroquine). On the seventh day, we take another blood smear to look for the malaria parasite, which should be disintegrating or not being seen”.
She further outlined that, “at this point in time, we are reviewing the smears for some of these cases, but in essence, they would have had their treatment. Up to now, we know that this parasite is sensitive to the drugs that we are using. We will continue to monitor our cases to ensure that they do not go on to become carriers. We can achieve prevention of this disease, and cure”.
Dr. Bullock DuCasse informed that other persons infected with the parasite were being treated at hospital and that drug supplies were adequate as the country continued to receive support from regional neighbours.
“We have received supplies of medication from the Bahamas and Guyana and we are also expecting additional supplies from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and other United Nations (UN) partners, such as UNICEF,” she noted.
“The treated bed-nets have also been donated by UNICEF, as they have chemicals, which will affect the adult mosquitoes and kill them,” the Director told journalists.