JIS News

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  • Jamaica’s National Emergency Response Team has been activated to coordinate and support the country’s response to the current outbreak of the Chikungunya virus.
  • At the same time the government has allocated an additional $150 million to the Chikungunya response, which includes a massive clean-up campaign aimed at destroying and removing mosquito breeding sites.
  • The information came out of a technical meeting on Thursday, October 2, of some of the key Government agencies involved in the ongoing response.

Jamaica’s National Emergency Response Team has been activated to coordinate and support the country’s response to the current outbreak of the Chikungunya virus. At the same time the government has allocated an additional $150 million to the Chikungunya response, which includes a massive clean-up campaign aimed at destroying and removing mosquito breeding sites. The information came out of a technical meeting on Thursday, October 2, of some of the key Government agencies involved in the ongoing response. Following her convening of a Ministerial meeting on the issue on Wednesday, October 1, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller addressed Thursday’s technical meeting and mandated those involved to be thorough and consistent in the planning, implementation and public communication of the ongoing national response.

 

The National Emergency Response Team, which is headed by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, involves representation from key Ministries, Agencies and non-government stakeholders with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) having a lead role in coordination and implementation.

 

The National Emergency Response Team’s activation is at level two (2) meaning that activation is related to a specific event or specific events.

 

Activation of the National Emergency Response Team will also provide a robust, thorough, intensive and extensive management framework for Jamaica’s planning for prevention, mitigation and response action in respect of other communicable diseases including Ebola. This planning and preparation has already stated with focused attention being paid to Jamaica’s various ports of entry and sensitisation and response training of key first responders including health workers being undertaken by the Ministry of Health. Training of other stakeholders, including Immigration Officers, Customs Officers and other air and seaport workers will be intensified.

 

Among the entities included in the National Emergency Response Team are the Jamaica Defence Force, the Police, the Fire Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Local Government, Parish Councils, National Solid Waste Management Authority, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, The National Geographic Information System, the Red Cross, and the Social Development Commission among others.

 

Thursday’s technical meeting which was chaired by Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer, was attended by the Acting Director General of ODPEM, Mr. Richard Thompson; Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse, Chairman of the NSWMA Mr. Steve Ashley; Director of Tourism, Mr. Paul Pennicook and representatives of several Ministries and Agencies including the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ministry of Local Government, the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Jamaica Information Service.