Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Gov't crafts ebola roadmap

Published:Wednesday | October 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rudolph Brown/ Photographer Richard Byles (second right), president and CEO of Sagicor and Wayne Brown (second left), also of Sagicor, present a cheque to Peter Bunting (left), minister of national security; Jennifer McDonald, CEO of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency; Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson (second right); and Dr Kevin Harvey, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health. The funds, handed over during a ceremony at Sagicor's New Kingston head office, are to be used to purchase a fever scan machine for installation at the Sangster International Airport.

REELING FROM a storm of criticism in relation to how the Government has handled the chikungunya virus outbreak, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says the administration is in the process of developing a clear road map to deal with the Ebola virus in the event it lands on local soil.

Ferguson told journalists yesterday that he had intense dialogue with the Jamaica Defence Force on Friday and Saturday of last week on a plan to respond to Ebola.

"Having moved the response to a national level, significant discussion is taking place with the critical stakeholders such as Jamaica Customs, immigration, and the army," the health minister said during a press conference to announce a $4.3-million donation from Sagicor to purchase a fever-scan machine for installation at the Sangster International Airport.

Ferguson sought to assure Jamaicans that the country now has protective gear in the event a person carrying the Ebola virus arrives in the island.

He said other government-related entities have already sourced protective gear to handle Ebola cases.

However, Ferguson said he did not wish to name the entities that have purchased the gear.

"If there is a case, we would be in a position to respond," he added.

The health ministry said it was also in the process of procuring additional supplies from abroad in addition to supplies that are expected from the Pan American Health Organization.

Dr Kevin Harvey, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said some training has already been provided for staff at the ports of entry, health-care workers, and those who would have to dispose of the bodies of Ebola victims.