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Pryce, Seiveright clash over Chikungunya under reporting claims

Published:Monday | September 8, 2014 | 10:46 AM
Raymond Pryce (left) and Delano Seiveright. - File

Young politicians Delano Seiveright of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and Raymond Pryce of the People’s National Party (PNP) clashed on social media last night over Seiveright's claims that the Health Ministry is under-reporting the number of Chikungunya cases.



Seiveright who is the JLP Caretaker for Eastern St Thomas claims the number of persons infected with the disease in the parish is being understated.



The Health Ministry has confirmed 24 cases of the mosquito-transmitted virus in four parishes but has not given a parish break down of the cases.



Pryce, the MP for North East St Elizabeth, started the debate on Twitter, accusing Seiveright of creating hysteria and inventing medical statistics.



Pryce also questioned Seiveright’s credentials, asking whether the former Generation 2000 president is a virologist or an epidemiologist.



He told the JLP representative that there is a protocol in confirming cases, similar to those used by international health organisations like the World Health Organisation.



However, Seiveright hit back claiming that most people are not being tested, which is keeping the official Chikungunya figures artificially low.



The St Thomas eastern caretaker further said the Government needs to begin a serious vector control drive inclusive and public education.



Meanwhile, President of the Medical Association, Dr Shane Alexis says the association has no reason to doubt the Ministry's reporting of confirmed cases.



However, he suggested that there could be a gap in the reporting of the disease by persons with the virus and their health facilities.



Alexis says there are several forms that need to be completed for reporting to the Ministry and that may constitute part of the problem.



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