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More than 9,000 Zik V cases recorded in Jamaica over two years - Tufton

Published:Wednesday | March 27, 2019 | 9:38 AM
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton speaking at the national consultation on the Zika virus in Jamaica on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew - Contributed photo

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton has indicated that between 2016 and 2018 Jamaica recorded over 9,000 Zika cases.

Further, Tufton disclosed that there were also 600 Zika in pregnancy cases and over 100 congenital Zika syndrome cases.

He was speaking at a national consultation titled ‘Strengthening Health Services in the Context of Zika in Jamaica’ at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew on Tuesday where he stressed that international partnerships are needed and must be maintained to prevent a major outbreak of the Zika virus in Jamaica.

Tufton said that cross-border collaboration that will help Jamaica to better fight the disease. 

“The more open we are as a society, the more persons travel, the more persons trade, is the more we are all susceptible, and the more it justifies the need for working together as partners in all our collective interests,” Tufton said.

The consultation was funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project.

Tufton said the partnership with USAID represents one of the international relationships he hopes to see continue.

The consultation was geared towards better sensitising medical practitioners and other stakeholders in Jamaica about mosquitoes and the Zika virus, while creating partnerships that will assist with the fight against the communicable disease.

The objectives of the meeting included informing Jamaica’s medical community about evolving evidence on the long-term impact of  the Zika virus; updating the Ministry of Health’s clinical management protocols, job aids and guidelines to strengthen health services in the context of Zika in Jamaica; and focusing on gender inequalities that affect health outcomes and approaches to gender integration.

It also focused on creating a joint Ministry of Health and ASSIST way forward to enhance scale-up and strengthening the context of Zika in Jamaica. 

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