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Adequate medication available to tackle ZIKV infections- Dalley

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Health Minister Horace Dalley has promised that his ministry will adequately provide pharmaceutical products and mobilise public sector workers to assist persons who contract the Zika virus.

As a donation from the Issa Trust Fund, the ministry, last Friday, received US$2 million in pharmaceuticals.

The medication will help to reduce fever pains and other symptoms.

The ministry is also warning persons who will be affected not to take pain killers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

As part of the vector-control initiative, the Caribbean Cement Company Ltd has come on- board with the ministry, donating J$2 million, which will go towards training 100 youth workers who will undertake community intervention to educate sections of the Corporate Area about the Zika virus.

"It is the task of every citizen to get rid of mosquitoes in their surroundings," Dalley said, while encouraging Jamaicans to play their part in destroying mosquito breeding sites.

"The ministry has further intensified its public education campaign around the Zika virus. This includes the distribution of flyers and posters, media campaigns, stakeholder partnerships, community interventions, and social media," the minister said.

Mayor of Kingston Angella Brown Burke expressed hope that the vector efforts would become integrated into the Jamaican culture and that both public and private entities would recognise the initiative and come on-board.

Alejandro VarÈs, general manager of Carib Cement, said that based on the impact that chikungunya had on the population, in terms of the drop in productivity in the workplace, his company decided to play its part in the vector-control initiative.

"Well, definitely it had some impact on the productivity of the workers and absenteeism, obviously also on attendance. But it also has an impact on the family. So, the fact that the person is not productive and other resources have to be focused on attending to other people that can be affected, it's a very strong burden on some of these communities, so we are trying to prevent that," VarÈs said.

The more common symptoms associated with the Zika virus include rashes, which may or may not itch, mild to severe fever, joint pains, headache, and weakness.

Symptoms are normally experienced three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and last for a period of four to seven days.