Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Chik-V numbers game again, Dr Ferguson?

Published:Thursday | February 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Every victim of chikungunya remembers it like it were yesterday. Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson day after day spouting obviously wrong chikungunya numbers. It got so bad that the minister appeared to have been forced into quarantine, given public outcry over the obviously wrong and low numbers given by the minister while thousands of Jamaicans got knocked down by what is now a seriously debilitating virus for some.

There was no preparation even though we later found out that chikungunya preparedness was the theme of a major

international workshop in Jamaica three years ago! The Ministry of Health, we are told, was integrally involved.

Now, many thought chikungunya would have run its course by now, but the sad reality is that thousands are still battling joint pain and several are dead. And from what I am hearing it's not 12, as Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse from the ministry is now saying. Dr Bullock DuCasse was equally a victim as Dr Ferguson, as she played right into the ridiculous numbers game, destroying in an absolute way whatever credibility she had.

Other ministry technocrats, probably knowing that they have made a complete mess of things, have stayed silent. I can't recall hearing a word from Dr Kevin Harvey in a long time. In other countries the entire lot of them would have been fired.

It is obvious to everyone in Jamaica that far more than 12 persons are suspected to have died from the effects of chikungunya. With well over half the country affected, an educated guess may see the numbers run 700, but alas, there are no clear reporting methods and the guessing game will continue.

Dr Ferguson may end up with the label Dr Death one day.

What a disaster! I pray for my country every day.


Mona Heights

Kingston 6