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Health ministry steps up efforts to deal with Zika threat

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Ministry of Health has identified an expert group to look at recommendations to address the support that will be required for children born with birth defects associated with Zika.

The group includes a neuropsychologist, a paediatric psychologist, a child psychiatrist, a paediatric neurologist, a behavioural paediatrician, a paediatrician, and an early-childhood childhood education specialist.

The group will provide a plan to address the concerns and support that will be required to provide care for children who may be born with birth defects associated with the Zika virus.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is expected to get the recommendations from the group by the end of September.

"The Ministry of Health is trying to ensure that children and parents who may become affected by Zika, in terms of birth defects, receive as much psychosocial support as is necessary," said Tufton.

Zika has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with small heads, as well as Guillan Barre Syndrome, a neurological disorder resulting in weakness of various muscle groups.