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  • Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says there is an adequate supply of medication to treat the dengue outbreak.
  • "There is no shortage of medication in the public or the private health system," he said, adding that paracetamol is available to both public and private distributors.
  • Addressing the House of Representatives on February 12, Dr. Tufton noted that the stock level of certain drugs continues to be monitored, including paracetamol tablets, paracetamol syrup, oral rehydration products and intravenous fluids.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says there is an adequate supply of medication to treat the dengue outbreak.

“There is no shortage of medication in the public or the private health system,” he said, adding that paracetamol is available to both public and private distributors.

Addressing the House of Representatives on February 12, Dr. Tufton noted that the stock level of certain drugs continues to be monitored, including paracetamol tablets, paracetamol syrup, oral rehydration products and intravenous fluids.

Providing an update on the dengue outbreak affecting the island, the Minister said more than $600 million has been allocated in response to the outbreak.

“A part of our community engagement has been the involvement of members of the House and the Municipal Corporations, of which Cabinet has approved $55.7 million to Members of Parliament and $100 million to the Corporations to undertake vector control activities,” he noted.

Dr. Tufton said for the month of February, the Ministry will continue to work with regional and international collaborators to sustain the ramped up vector control management, public education and clinical management.

“We urge Jamaicans to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites around their homes; visit their doctors if they experience symptoms and follow the prescribed course of treatment,” he advised.

Dr. Tufton reassured the public that the Ministry team is doing all it can to ensure the best possible health outcomes for those currently affected by dengue, to prevent the spread of the virus to other members of the population.

Meanwhile, he said work continues in clinical management with the sustained sensitisation of all private and public doctors. “Parish medical officers of health were resensitised on response and enhanced surveillance, the integrated management strategy to include enhanced vector control activities and clinical management,” he added.

The Minister pointed out that a series of training workshops for clinicians across the four health regions were held, and electronic copies of current clinical guidelines on dengue prevention and control were disseminated.

Dr. Tufton said the extended opening hours programme continues to facilitate increased access by patients needing medical care at selected health centres.

He noted that as at February 8, the Ministry classified 1,166 suspected, presumed or confirmed cases with dates of onset in 2019. He added that in 2018, the Ministry classified 1,023 suspected or confirmed cases.

“The weekly number of cases appears to be plateauing, and while we need to wait for another two to three weeks to be sure, this is an encouraging sign,” the Minister said, adding that the experts theorise that numbers will begin to trend downwards.

He further reported that as at February 8, 2019, there were six confirmed deaths, five from Kingston and St. Andrew and one from Portland. “These confirmed deaths have been children under the age of 14 years old,” he added.