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10 questions for Fenton

Published:Monday | October 6, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Health Minister Fenton Ferguson

Following the inept handling of the chikungunya (chik-V) outbreak by the Ministry of Health, led by Dr Fenton Ferguson, and the first case of the Ebola virus in the United States, more and more persons are questioning Jamaica's ability to deal with any major health crisis.

Despite an address to the nation last Sunday, and a strong defence of his stewardship on Power 106 FM's 'Independent Talk', Ferguson has failed to inspire confidence, leading to several questions and comments being submitted to our news centre.

Here are 10 of the often-repeated questions which Jamaicans are demanding Ferguson answers quickly:

1) Why did you fail to act decisively to rally mobilisation efforts to tackle chik-V?

2) On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate your ministry's handling of the chik-V outbreak?

3) How could you not know that several persons in your East St Thomas constituency were displaying chik-V symptoms when you accused Delano Seiveright of fear mongering?

4) How much of the 2012 plan for preparedness and response to chik-V, developed by regional health professionals, was introduced by your ministry?

5) Why did it take you so long to decide that a national clean-up day would be needed to fight chik-V?

6) When will additional resources be provided to the local health sector to prepare for the possibility of the Ebola virus reaching our shores?

7) Will artistes and other Jamaicans who travel to west Africa be quarantined for the suggested 21 days on their return?

8) Will Texas in the United States be added to the list of areas from which travellers will be screened before entering the island?

9) What steps are being taken to identify or develop possible treatment options for any potential cases of Ebola?

10) Based on your mishandling of the chik-V outbreak and Jamaica's Ebola fears, there have been calls for your resignation. Is this something that you will consider, despite your claim that you did nothing wrong?