JIS News

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  • The Jamaican authorities have stepped up planning for the prevention of Ebola and for effective management, should the virus present itself in the island.
  • This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller today (October 9), during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.
  • The Prime Minister is assuring the country that adequate stock of various levels of protective gear for emergency responders, including health care workers, is currently in Jamaica.

The Jamaican authorities have stepped up planning for the prevention of Ebola and for effective management, should the virus present itself in the island.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller today (October 9), during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that the Ministry of Health is the lead agency for  contingency planning and for the country’s health emergency response.

Other key agencies are: the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) providing logistics co-ordination; and public safety, and law and order enforcement support from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

She informed that sensitisation and refresher training on operating procedures and protocols will be held with entities and professionals earmarked as first responders in any possible Ebola health emergency.

The Prime Minister is assuring the country that adequate stock of various levels of protective gear for emergency responders, including health care workers, is currently in Jamaica.

“Additional supplies are available for immediate delivery by international partners through arrangements in place. Quarantine facilities and equipped medical isolation wards are also being established. At the same time, we have initiated efforts to acquire necessary screening equipment for the island’s port of entry,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She added that the Government has also engaged various international partners to assist Jamaica with prevention, planning, response preparedness and surveillance.

Acting, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey noted that the aim of the Ministry is to have two days’ supply of protective gear at hospitals, with a significant stock at the main isolation facility.

“We are not intending to treat and manage Ebola cases long-term at all our hospital facilities. It will simply be a short-term holding space with planned transfer to the main isolation treatment site,” Dr. Harvey said.

He informed that the Ministry will be presenting guidelines for the management for funeral homes and mortuaries “and this will tell you a little bit more on how to manage the dead bodies.”

The Government will also carry out a public education campaign on both the Chikungunya Virus and Ebola Virus.