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  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the Ministry will be more stringent in its monitoring of funeral homes to ensure compliance with operating and safety standards.
  • Guidelines for the Operation of Funeral Establishments and Mortuaries, developed by the Ministry, were recently distributed to the facilities.
  • Dr. Ferguson noted that the Ministry has been moving to strengthen the monitoring system for some time, but with the threat of Ebola, activities were intensified.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says the Ministry will be more stringent in its monitoring of funeral homes to ensure compliance with operating and safety standards.

Guidelines for the Operation of Funeral Establishments and Mortuaries, developed by the Ministry, were recently distributed to the facilities.

“You are going to see more rigorous operations in relation to our public health staff dealing with funeral homes,” the Minister said, noting that there will be no room for persons, who are only interested in making money.

Dr. Ferguson, who was addressing a town hall meeting on Wednesday, December 10, at the Cecil Charlton Hall in Mandeville, noted that the Ministry has been moving to strengthen the monitoring system for some time, but with the threat of Ebola, activities were intensified.

He asserted that, even if Ebola is no longer a threat to public health, operating outside of the required standards “is not going to continue.”

The forum was held as part of a series of public education meetings to sensitise communities on Ebola preparations and the Chikungunya (CHIKV) response. In attendance were civic and church leaders, medical personnel, political representatives, and residents of Manchester.

The Minister, in the meantime, said all indications are that the transmission of CHIKV is “coming down.”

He urged Jamaicans, when communicating with their relatives abroad, to pass on the information from the public education sessions, and let them know that Jamaica is open for business.

He noted that with over three million visitors set to visit the island, 2014 will be one of the best years in terms of tourist arrivals.

“From the bookings, this will be one of our biggest tourism periods…these public education sessions, the pronouncements from my Ministry, are the pronouncements that must be made internationally,” Minister Ferguson said.

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