Chik-V questions for Minister Ferguson
THE EDITOR, Sir:
As I watch chikungunya take down people around me like flies, and with two family members now hospitalised because of it, I recall the minister of health in his address to the nation stating that he and his ministry had started preparing for chik-V from two years ago.
Perhaps I was not listening well, but I am in awe that we could have been preparing for two years and the public in no way saw any of this preparation, nor are we currently benefiting from it.
I have a few questions for the Honourable Minister:
- How many drains and gullies were cleaned?
- How many flyers and educational material were printed and distributed?
- How many doctors and nurses attended any seminar or training in anticipation of this outbreak and the increased pressure on the health system?
- How much of the spray used for fogging was garnered and stored in anticipation of the need for increased fogging?
- Why weren't the Labour Day projects for the last two years geared towards drain cleaning and cleaning of garbage in at-risk areas?
- Why wasn't the money spent on the feel-good Independence Grand Gala not diverted to something like this, which would be of benefit to the entire country instead of the 25,000 who could sit in the stadium?
- Were contacts made with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that adequate supplies of the required medication could be quickly sourced?
- How many additional hospital beds or even cots were secured?
It seems no preparation may have been better, or should we assume that there would have been more casualties if the last two years had not been used working, working, working? I would love to see the minister's prep checklist.
I agree that we all have a responsibility to clean our environment, but the Government has a responsibility to lead - and not from the back!
We need to start holding these people accountable! When the Aedes aegypti mosquito comes, it sees neither green nor orange. It's biting Jamaicans!