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  • Jamaica is to receive assistance from Cuba in strengthening the country’s Chikungunya Virus (Chik-V) response programme.
  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has informed that a Cuban technical expert is slated to arrive in November, to provide assistance in dealing with Chik-V and Dengue Fever, which are spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
  • He made the announcement while outlining details of a four-day visit to Cuba, from October 23 to 26, to lobby that country’s assistance in boosting the local response to the Ebola virus threat.

Jamaica is to receive assistance from Cuba in strengthening the country’s Chikungunya Virus (Chik-V) response programme.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has informed that a Cuban technical expert is slated to arrive in November, to provide assistance in dealing with Chik-V and Dengue Fever, which are spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

He made the announcement while outlining details of a four-day visit to Cuba, from October 23 to 26, to lobby that country’s assistance in boosting the local response to the Ebola virus threat.  Dr. Ferguson led an 11-member delegation in talks with Cuba’s Public Health Minister, Dr. Roberto Morales Ojeda.

Dr. Ferguson informed that during the discussions, he asked that consideration be given to sharing best practices on vector control, “specifically (in relation to) Dengue Fever and Chikungunya.”

“As a result of those discussions, an expert will…come to assist Jamaica to improve these areas. I am still awaiting confirmation of the date for that expert’s (arrival); but I am sure it is not going to be long from now, based on the urgency of the (matter). We expect that when that expert comes and engages our technical officers, (we will have a full understanding of what that representative’s inputs will entail),” Dr. Ferguson stated.

The Jamaican Government is currently undertaking a $500 million National Health Emergency Response Programme to eradicate mosquito breeding sites, thereby restricting the spread of Chik-V.

In a bid to further boost Jamaica’s capacity in containing Chik-V and dengue, Dr. Ferguson informed that a three-member delegation from the Ministry, headed by Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse, is currently in Cuba attending the two-day conference of experts from countries affiliated with the Bolivarian Alliance for Peoples of our Americas (ALBA), which starts on October 29 in the capital, Havana.

ALBA is an inter-governmental organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, it is associated with governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering, and mutual economic aid.

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