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Infectious diseases still a major threat to Jamaica - Ferguson

Published:Saturday | September 19, 2015 | 10:10 AM
Fenton Ferguson says effective public health surveillance is critical for the early detection and prevention of epidemics.

Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson says infectious diseases remain a major threat to Jamaica and the Caribbean Region.

Ferguson was speaking at the 13th Symposium of the Association of Consultant Physicians held at the Faculty of Medical Sciences Research and Teaching Complex at the UWI, Mona Campus recently.

He noted that at this year’s World Health Assembly held in May, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr Carissa Etienne warned that the Region should be prepared to deal with the threat of an infectious disease every year.

Ferguson also said effective public health surveillance is critical for the early detection and prevention of epidemics.

He added that reducing the susceptibility of the population to outbreaks of these diseases will mean a change in behaviour and long established practices.

He also noted that health system strengthening and implementing the International Health Regulations are two ways in which Jamaica can prepare to deal with new and re-emerging threats.