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Jamaica recruits Cuban nurses to help treat Guillain-Barre patients

Published:Thursday | September 8, 2016 | 1:20 PM

Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer

The Health Ministry says it has recruited 10 specially trained nurses from Cuba to assist with the rise in Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in Jamaica.

GBS is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, resulting in general muscle weakness and tingling in the legs.

The ministry says the nurses are trained to deliver intensive care, adding that more Cuban nurses are expected to arrive in Jamaica in the coming months.

The ministry says the recruitment of the nurses is one measure to strengthen the health system to deal with GBS, which has been linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus which is now in Jamaica.

Meantime, director of Health Service Planning in the Health Ministry, Dr Lundie Richards, says some 400 doses of special GBS drugs have been bought to treat possible cases of the illness.


Director of Health Service Planning in the Health Ministry, Dr Lundie Richards

So far the health ministry has received 111 notifications of possible cases of GBS in Jamaica.

Two persons have died from GBS-related complications.

Richards says the health ministry is still investigating the circumstances that contributed to the two deaths.