Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Who dropped the ball?

Published:Friday | November 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: I was shocked to read in Carolyn Cooper's article 'Defending slackness at all costs' published in The Sunday Gleaner of November 2, 2014 that a training workshop on chik-V was held in Jamaica in as far back as May 2012!

The writer went on to say that in 2013, as a follow-up to that meeting, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) published a report in which an agreed plan of action was documented.

I think the country needs to know why this plan was not implemented in a timely manner. Who was responsible? If it had been implemented as early as 2013, surely the country would have been prepared for the onslaught of this dreaded disease.

The population would have been sensitised and educated, vector-control activities would have resumed, and a serious attempt at cleaning up drains and gullies and potential breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito would have been undertaken.

Who dropped the ball? Did the Ministry of Health not grasp the severity of this disease and understand the complications of it on persons with existing health problems, not to mention the far-reaching and long-lasting effects on the body?

To add insult to injury, the prices of repellents (and some basic painkillers) seem to have gone though the roof! Who is going to take responsibility for the loss of productivity? And, more important, who is going to accept the blame for the deaths which have occurred?

This situation amounts to slackness and gross incompetence. In other countries, those in charge would have already resigned without having to be asked.


Salt Hill, St Andrew