LETTER OF THE DAY - Sue health ministry for chik-V negligence
THE EDITOR, Sir: In 2012, health officials from the various Caribbean nations were invited to a chikungunya awareness meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The what, where, how, why and when were discussed and the information was to be disseminated to the rest of the health sector and the citizenry.
Two years later, persons have begun to develop symptoms of this virus, e.g., debilitating pain, fever of up to 104 degrees, rashes and, to a lesser extent, vomiting and diarrhoea. They have had to miss work for up to 10 days, and after this, suffer from arthritic-like pain in the ankles, which causes hobbling and limping. The pain across the shoulders makes one barely able to lift one's arms high, and the pain in the wrists and fingers renders one unable to open bottles, hold a pen properly, lift heavy items, including the usual laptop, and even bathe or wash clothes properly.
My concern is for the workers of this land, even more so, the labourers and practical nurses who have to deal with the elderly and babies, the artists, the mechanics and builders. How can they now work effectively? Some persons have even died, even if they did have prior illnesses.
I demand that the minister of health account for his inaction to educate, warn, and propose medical advice regarding the arrival of the chikungunya Virus. I want the Minister of Health to tell us how he is going to compensate persons for loss of manpower hours, for inability to function normally in their usual mode of work, for the depression or stress caused while trying to cope with the pain, for the doctor's visits, and for the emotional pain of those who have lost someone to this illness.
I am upset about the handling of this spreading virus, and therefore will join with anyone in Jamaica who is willing to bring a claim against the Ministry of Health.
Hellshire, St Catherine