Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Tufton says health systems ready for Matthew

Published:Monday | October 3, 2016 | 10:09 AM
Nurses prepare to a admit a pregnant woman who arrived at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston in a police van - contributed photo

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is seeking to assure that the health services are ready to respond to any eventualities arising from the passage of hurricane Matthew.

"We have sent advisories to vulnerable groups like pregnant women and the chronically ill regarding the need to stay close to hospitals and have their medication," he said. 

The minister also says nonessential patients have been discharged from hospitals across the country.

The chief medical officer in the ministry Dr Winston De La Haye has also told The Gleaner that elective surgeries have been put on hold. 

"All routine surgical procedures would have been cancelled provided there is nothing urgent," he said. 

In the meantime, Tufton is warning the public that mosquito breeding sites will increase after the rains, likely eroding much of the ministry’s effort to eradicate especially the dangerous ZIKA and dengue-carrying, aedes aegypti.

He says an outbreak of water-borne diseases will be a concern for the ministry and so he urging citizens to boil water before consumption.

Dr De La Haye also shared the concern about an outbreak of water-borne diseases saying he expects incidents of flu and gastroenteritis to increase with the passage of the hurricane.

In the meantime, Tufton who is also the Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine says drains are being cleaned in the constituency ahead of possible flooding.

He also says farmers in some communities have begun reaping certain crops in anticipation of the battering from Matthew.