JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health has entered a partnership with DRT Communications Ltd, for the provision of global media-monitoring services at no charge to track the Zika virus.
  • “We felt it necessary to offer our media-monitoring system as corporate citizens to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of all conversations happening in the media globally.
  • One case of the virus has been confirmed in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health has entered a partnership with DRT Communications Ltd, for the provision of global media-monitoring services at no charge to track the Zika virus.

The company’s system facilitates full tracking of conversations happening across media platforms such as radio, television, press and online.

Director of Communications and Public Relations in the Ministry of Health, Stephanie Shaw-Smith, said that the tracking services will enhance the Ministry’s ability to respond and provide clarification and correct information to the public in a timely manner.

“The Zika virus is new to us in Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region. Given that it is an emerging illness, the information on Zika will continuously change and so it is important that we are fully aware of the ongoing dialogue so that we can ensure that quick clarifications are made and information provided in a timely manner for people to be able to make informed decisions,” Mrs. Shaw-Smith added.

Managing Director of DRT Communications, Danielle Terrelonge, said with the designation of the Zika virus by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Board of DRT took the decision to support the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Health, “to ensure they are aware, in real time, of the global conversation taking place about the virus.”

“We felt it necessary to offer our media-monitoring system as corporate citizens to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of all conversations happening in the media globally.

“Having the information allows them to act expeditiously. We see this as a small gesture of support to Jamaica’s fight against the Zika virus.  Our operations are set up for global monitoring including local and regional broadcast, press and digital media,” she explained.

This, she said, will help the Ministry to “be aware of the tone and awareness levels about the virus and can develop and redefine their communications strategies accordingly.”

The Ministry will receive daily reports of every mention of the Zika virus and related reports coming out of the WHO, PAHO and testing laboratories from DRT Communications.

One case of the virus has been confirmed in Jamaica.