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  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, will head a delegation to Cuba on Thursday, October 23, for discussions with representatives of that country’s government.
  • Assistance with Jamaica’s Ebola monitoring and response preparedness is expected to be one of the key issues that will be high on the agenda of the talks.
  • Dr. Ferguson said the meeting follows preliminary discussions between Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and Cuban President, Raul Castro.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, will head a delegation to Cuba on Thursday, October 23, for discussions with representatives of that country’s government.

Assistance with Jamaica’s Ebola monitoring and response preparedness is expected to be one of the key issues that will be high on the agenda of the talks.

The Minister made the announcement during Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited’s presentation of cheque for $4.3 million to the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on October 21, for the acquisition of a thermal temperature scanner.

Dr. Ferguson said the meeting follows preliminary discussions between Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and Cuban President, Raul Castro.

The Minister pointed out that following that discussion, he had initial talks with Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Bernardo Guanche Hernandez, “on a number of areas that we would want to have cooperation.”

Dr. Ferguson said talks with the Cuban government will focus on a number of areas, particularly the training of local health personnel.

Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister indicated that assistance was being sought from the government of a country that “is very close to us,” to help with the training and preparation of Jamaica’s health professionals and other stakeholders.

This comes against the background of Jamaica’s heightened National Health Emergency Response to the prevailing Chikungunya Virus (Chik-V) outbreak, and the threat posed by the Ebola Virus.

The thermal temperature scanner, which is being acquired from Canada, will be installed at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.

It is expected to significantly boost the capacity of the facility’s immigration officers to accurately scan and record any indication of elevated body temperature by arriving passengers.

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