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Opinion| United States Trillions Of Dollar Debt To The ‘Two-Headed Dragon’. So Why Warn Jamaica?

According to The Gleaner, the United States Ambassador Donald Tapia on his visit to Jamaica in August warns the Andrew Holness government about it's business dealings with the Chinese.

United States Ambassador Donald Tapia

The Gleaner- Tapia has urged the Government to be wary of China’s deepening footprint in Jamaica, citing the Asian country’s lavish investment pitch as predatory and dangerous.

“China is a dragon with two heads. If China came to Jamaica presumably with no strings attached, then why did you negotiate 1,200 acres of the most prime real estate with them? Because they need a return on their investment,” the ambassador said during an exclusive interview with paper.

“When they (China) go into a country, they go after two things – the minerals and the ports. I could tell you horror stories of countries where they have taken over the ports because those countries could not pay for their investment; China usually has a great propaganda story as to why it has happened,” Tapia told The Gleaner.

“When America invests in the energy and education sectors, we are building a long-lasting effect and will contribute to stability and help to stem the brain drain. Those who talk about free speech, free enterprise and human rights are forgetting that those three things go together with Jamaicans, who are freedom-loving people, and one day, the chickens will come home to roost. So, take all you can from them, but remember that the West is standing there with you.”

United States Trillions Of Dollar Debt To The ‘Two-Headed Dragon’

Does the United States have the credibility to give advice to Jamaica ?

According to the balance, the U.S. debt to China is $1.11 trillion as of May 2019. That's 27% of the $4.1 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries. The rest of the $22 trillion national debt is owned by either the American people or by the U.S. government itself.

With the Americans so indebted to the Chinese, why are they so concern about Jamaica's business dealings with the Chinese? Why is it okay for them to do business with the Chinese but Jamaica should be weary?

Jamaica is a sovereign country and should do business with whomever it sees fit with no interference.

There is no doubt that the Jamaican government should be weary of any country that comes in with gifts and this includes both America and China. They both are looking for some political advantages.

Nevertheless, many Jamaicans believe that since Jamaica decided to do business with the Chinese the country is being developed. Some ask, what are the Americans doing for Jamaica? Jamaica needs infrastructure development and the government of Jamaica business dealings with the Chinese are offering just that. Many of the countries in the so-called backyard of America are struggling with strife, problems, gun violence (which all of the guns coming from America because none of these countries make guns) immigration problems, poverty and lack of infrastructure development. All of them are seen as Third World Countries. If America cares so much it should help these countries becoming successful as it is. Or it should just BUT OUT and let them prosper on their own.

The US ambassador scolded China for its appetite as part of a geopolitical game of chess, centred, he said, on extracting natural resources with ulterior motives, including in a hemisphere long viewed to be America’s backyard.

“We shouldn’t be surprised. It has been going on for two years. Since that time, clearly, Jamaica has not paid attention to what the US has said, but has foraged ahead with its developments,” Tapia said.

Could this be the problem? Is it that America is upset that Jamaica did not take it's advice? Is it that America is more worried about China extracting natural resources with ulterior motives, in it’s backyard?

But what about Jamaica development as a nation? Does the United States cares about that? Or is it more concerned who is in it's backyard than the development and success of the countries?

Many refer to this situation as POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK.

Jamaica has a right to do business with the ‘Two-Headed Dragon’ just as the United States do.

****Sent by an anonymous writer*****

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Shaggy: The $100 Million Is In The Bank. Disappointed With Media Article Headline

Shaggy said is he very disappointed and saddened by the Gleaner Headline stating

‘Busta’ Still Waiting - Hospital Yet To Benefit From $100m Raised At 2018 Shaggy And Friends Charity Concert

According to The Gleaner article dating November 3rd:
“Almost two years after the successful staging of the biennial Shaggy and Friends concert, the Bustamante Hospital for Children is still anxiously waiting to receive the benefits from the charity event which reportedly raised $100 million”.

The concert was hosted by international recording artiste Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell on January 6, 2018 with support from the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, which is co-directed by his wife, Rebecca Burrell.

Contacted by The Sunday Gleaner, the hospital’s chairman, Kenneth Benjamin, confirmed that neither the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds that were to be purchased from the proceeds of the charity event nor the money raised has been handed over.

 Shaggy spoke to Winford Williams Onstage at the Press Conference at the Bustamante Hospital for Children Monday November 11th.

According to Shaggy, the money was always in the Scotia Bank Account. Shaggy went on to say the money has been earmarked for an ICU and they will turn it over to the Bustamante Hospital for Children for this new project which will involve Dr. Kenneth Benjamin. Shaggy did not explain why the money was not been turned over as yet

Nevertheless, he said they never moved the money. They never bring the money anywhere. It was always there. The bank also confirmed the money in the account.

Bank Statement confirmed money in account

Shaggy said in moving forward he and his team will think how they go about dealing with this issue.

He said it was disheartening as his nine years old daughter came to him and said, daddy, I know why you are going to this meeting, to tell them you do not steal the money. “That lick me hard”, Shaggy said.

Shaggy said he was really upset because he had a conversation with the media before the article was out.

He said it could have affected his performance at Disney Little Mermaid so he had to put the issue at the back of his mind and performed for Disney. "It took effort" Shaggy said and there was a lot of people counting on him. They were banking on him, so he had to deliver.

Shaggy said he had to come to Jamaica to address the issue publicly as he could not trust the media to put out the correct information as he spoke to them, yet they printed that headline.

He went on to say when you have this attack on your credibility you cannot help but to be emotional.

The money was not moved. They did not use it for anything else. It was and have been always in the bank.

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Kidney Disease Affecting Over 150,000 Jamaicans. 6 Causes Of Kidney Disease

Minister of Health Christopher Tufton is concerned about the number of Jamaicans being affected by some form of kidney disease.

According to the Minister, up to 150,000 Jamaicans are afflicted. Some cases includes those in the early stages of the disease, and in some instances at the end stage when dialysis is required.

According to Loop News, the Minister was responding to questions posed by Opposition members, including Central Kingston representative, Reverend Ronald Thwaites, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The Government is “very concerned about the numbers”, and as such, has been working on a list of things to address the issues, “starting with prevention, because what we’re advocating now is how do we make curative treatment methods more affordable…,” he said.

Tufton added that the Government is also looking to expand the kidney transplant programme. Tufton pointed out that those who access treatment in the private sector are forced to fork out up to $80,000 per week.

Dr. A Malgwi~ HERE ARE THE TOP 6 CAUSE OF KIDNEY DISEASE:

1. Delaying going to a toilet. Keeping your urine in your bladder for too long is a bad idea. A full bladder can cause bladder damage. The urine that stays in the bladder multiplies bacteria quickly. Once the urine refluxes back to the ureter and kidneys, the toxic substances can result in kidney infections, then urinary tract infections, and then nephritis, and even uremia. When nature calls – do it as soon as possible.

2. Eating too much salt. You should eat no more than 5.8 grams of salt daily.

3. Eating too much meat. Too much protein in your diet is harmful for your kidneys. Protein digestion produces ammonia – a toxn that is very destructive to your kidneys. More meat equals more kidney damage.

4. Drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine is a component of many sodas and soft drinks. It raises your blood pressure and your kidneys start suffering. So you should cut down the amount of coke you drink daily.

5. Not drinking water. Our kidneys should be hydrated properly to perform their functions well. If we don’t drink enough, the toxins can start accumulating in the blood, as there isn’t enough fluid to drain them through the kidneys. Drink more than 10 glasses of water daily. There is an easy way to check if you are drinking
enough water: look at the colour of your urine; the lighter the colour, the better.

6. Late treatment . Get yearly doctor check up. This will alert any medical illness

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US Navy Hospital Ship Giving Free Medical in Jamaica. Some are skeptical

Hundreds of Jamaicans are expected to benefit from the nine-day medical mission of the United States (US) Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) from October 28 to November 1.

US Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), anchored in Kingston

According to the Jamaica Information Service,It is anticipated that 150 surgeries will be conducted on board the ship, which is currently docked at Victoria pier, downtown Kingston. These include ophthalmology, orthopedic, oral maxillofacial, wound care, urology, and plastic and general surgery.

Basic medical services will also be provided at walk-in sites at Sabina Park and the Greater Portmore Health Centre.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, toured the ship on Monday (October 28), where he spoke with the doctors, nurses and other professionals who are offering their service, and thanked them for their partnership with Jamaica on this initiative.

“I am very impressed with what I saw. This is a facility that has nearly 900 beds, 100 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, over 1,000 staff members covering medical staff to support team. It’s a self-sufficient vessel producing its own oxygen, water, etcetera, and, of course, critical to all of this, are men and women, who are from different countries throughout the world, who are professionals, who go around the world and provide medical care to citizens of the world,” Dr. Tufton said.

“The facilities are very modern and the care is top-notch; it’s excellent care and I want the opportunity to thank those who are managing this process as well as the support staff,” he added.

It is anticipated that approximately 150 surgeries will be conducted onboard. Surgeries will fall under the categories of ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, oral maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, wound care and urology.

Patient Capacity:
Intensive care wards: 80 beds
Recovery wards: 20 beds
Intermediate care wards: 280 beds
Light care wards: 120 beds
Limited care wards: 500 beds
Total Patient Capacity: 1000 beds
Operating Rooms: 12
Departments and Facilities:
Casualty reception
Intensive care unit
Radiological services
Main laboratory plus satellite lab
Central sterile receiving
Medical supply/pharmacy
Physical therapy and burn care
Dental services
Optometry/lens lab
Morgue
Laundry
Oxygen producing plants (two)
Medical Photography
Four distilling plants to make drinking water from sea water (300,000 US gallons (1,100,000 l; 250,000 imp gal) per day)

Several voice messages are being shared on social media by people who is said to be living in the United States of America telling relatives in Jamaica to stay away from the ship. One woman, told her family member that The United States do not give away free healthcare up here so she do not know how they are giving free healthcare down there.

The woman urge her family member to spread it to everyone in her contact. She warns that the ship is there to kill black people. She went on to say they want to eliminate black people and they are going to all black countries. She urge them not to take any pills or medicine because "you will be dead"

According to THE STAR, they contacted Tufton and he said that the negative message being circulated is not only erroneous, but is unfortunate. "It is done either out of ignorance or mischief," said the minister, adding that it is not good for international collaboration in the area of public health. "This is a medical ship that has travelled the world and involves many nationalities. They have helped many in the past and continue to do so. Those who think otherwise are ill-advised," Tufton said.

SouFloTV discussed voice note below

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Jamaicans Ran to Raise Funds for Those Diagnosed with Breast Cancer but Unable to Afford Treatment

As many might know, October is breast cancer awareness month. Countries from all over the world hosted a multitude of activities to support this crucial mission. Throughout the month, you’ll find many wearing pink or pink ribbons in support of raising awareness about breast cancer. This morning Jamaica hosted several runs, one being ICWI/Jamaica Reach to Recovery Pink 5K Run.

ICWI Pink Run

The pink run which is in its 19th year saw thousands of Jamaicans supporting the event this morning at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Entry costs began at $1000 JMD and the proceeds will help those who are diagnosed with breast cancer and
are unable to afford treatment. Companies and individuals came out early this morning to support this cause. It was an eclectic mix of people, activities, vibes and joy. The support was amazing, and the organizers and sponsors of this run were pleased that so many Jamaicans supported.

“To say we are pleased with the overwhelming support received from our team members, volunteers, participants, sponsors and donors would be an understatement. Each year, we work harder to engage the public in the fight against breast cancer. This year’s staging is definitely a testament to the momentous efforts that have been invested by the team,” President Lalor of ICWI, title sponsor of the 5K said.

All funds raised, i.e., 100% will be donated to Jamaica Reach To Recovery, which is breast cancer support arm of the Jamaica Cancer Society who provides financial support to persons diagnosed with breast cancer who are unable to afford treatment.
This run also gets a bit competitive among Jamaicans are there are placements. You’ll find every year regular attendees training for the number one spot. The overall winners in the male and female open run categories are Henry Thomas and Arieta Martin. Here’s what Henry had to say:

“I came out to have some fun as I am just returning from the cross country run
series in London but wanted to show my support for the cause because it is one
that affects so many families.’

ICWI Pink Run winners from left to right (in the middle) Henry Thomas and Arieta Martin and from left, the Chairman of ICWI Dennis  Lalor and Paul Lalor the president of ICWI
ICWI Pink Run winners from left to right (in the middle) Henry Thomas and Arieta Martin and from left, the Chairman of ICWI Dennis Lalor and Paul Lalor the president of ICWI

Arieta added, “I came out to have some fun as I am just returning from the cross country run series in London but wanted to show my support for the cause because it is one that affects so many families.’ If you would like to help the Jamaica Cancer Society with their ongoing battle against this illness, you can contribute to ‘Jamaica Reach to Recovery’. Account Number: 371882545 at any National Commercial Bank (Branch: Matilda's Corner; Account Type: Current Account). Visit their website at http://jamaicacancersociety.org/

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Lightning Strikes Jamaican Prep-School Football Players Sending them to Hospital

Kingston, Jamaica Mon Sept 18, 2019

According to RJR News, On Monday September 16, the ISSA Schoolboy Football Manning Cup match involving Wolmer's Boys' School and Jamaica College came to an abrupt end following a lightning strike Monday afternoon.

According to reports, five players fell after a bolt of lightning during the second half of the match. At least three players - one from Wolmer's, the other from Jamaica College - were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The three students reportedly complained about pain to the eyes. The video of the incident shows a flash, followed by several players falling onto the field.

One student was carried off the field on a stretcher as he did not respond to treatment on the field, according to Loop Jamaica.

Jamaican news outlet RJR reports that one student has since been released from the hospital.

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War on dancehall? Jamaican Dancehall Industry Crying Foul

Kingston, Jamaica. September 12, 2019

The argument that there is a “war on dancehall” has been going on for decades.

There is no doubt there is a divide among the Political Establishment and the Dancehall Industry. At The Heart of this divide, The Noise Abatement Act of 1997. The law was enacted to protect citizens who argued that the dancehall music was disturbing their sleep. The law is to control noise by amplified sound beyond 100 meters from the source. It sets time limits for all events, which involves loud speakers playing music or loud speech. These events must be “shut off” by midnight on weekdays and 2:00 am on weekends.

There have been varying degrees of enforcement by the police over the years. The Jamaica Observer reported on a specific incident, where a promoter invited a reporter backstage, to witness first-hand, several police officers, demanding bribes, not to lock off the dance.

Lately, there is a new enforcement in the law. There are unconfirmed reports, that the police are confiscating DJs laptops and other expensive equipment, and destroying properties, in the process.

Many celebrities, politicians and ordinary citizens speaking publicly about this hot button issue. Prime Minister Holness spoke on the issue saying in part,” It could never be the intention of the government, to in any way stifle the culture, which is necessary for development of our people”. He continued, “We hear the cries of the entertainment community.  We hear the cries of the dancehall community. We hears the cries of the artists, the entertainers and the sound system operators. But as the society evolves, as the society grows we must find a consensus on order”.

According to reports, a meeting was held at popular dancehall location in Kingston, between the police and dancehall community on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 to discuss a path forward. The discussion was moderated by author, Michael Dawson. Also in attendance was Ricky Trooper, Dancehall Queen Carlene, Professor Donna Hope, TV Personality Winford Williams, along with Promoters, Dancers, Club/ Bar Owners and other interested individuals.

Members of the dancehall community reportedly expressed frustration that politicians over the years have failed to address the issue. There have been lots of empty promises and no real meaningful Change. The consensus coming out of the meeting was that (1) there is an Overwhelming need to unite, all the separate entities that depend on The Dancehall Industry. (2) There's a need to create an organization that can form a lobbying group, in which to advocate for the protection everyone involves, from the big promoters to peanut vendors.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says, however, that he spoke to Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange about allocating special entertainment zones where dancehall can go on from dust until dawn. These zones will have security, parking and all amenities needed to accommodate the dancehall culture.

Leisa Amore

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Good News! 37 Jamaicans Celebrating their New Homes!

St. Catherine, Jamaica: On July 26, 2019, 37 Jamaicans became homeowners due to the National Housing Trust Jamaica (NHT). The 37 beneficiaries were given keys to their homes in the Spanish Ridge housing scheme in St. Catherine.

This housing scheme is located in the community of Kitson Town and is about 15 minutes away from the parish’s capital, Spanish Town. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness said of this milestone “NHT is following the mandate that they have been giving which is build house, build house, build house and don’t stop build house because that is the only way, friends, that we are going to address the issue of irregular settlement of land in Jamaica. We have to get ahead of the demand for housing solutions. And, we have to make sure that the housing solution is affordable and that we build solutions that meet the market segment demand and that is what is the NHT is doing.”

37 Jamaicans Celebrating their New Homes!

The Spanish Town Ridge housing scheme consists so far of four premium serviced lots at the cost of $3.7 million each; and three regular serviced lots for  $2.8 million each, 12 one-bedroom units for $10 million each and 18 two-bedroom units at a cost of $12 million each. Since 2017, the NHT began 11,198 housing solutions, which surpasses what was done for the 4 years prior.  2,689 more units will be added by month’s end.

Martin Miller, Managing Director of the NHT, said to the new homeowners:

“Owning real estate is just one step. You need to protect your real estate. You must ensure that the entire community is protected; work together, grow each other's family, see yourself as your brother's keeper.”Holness advised the new homeowners to make this housing scheme a “model community”. He mentioned that the Spanish Ridge already has its own homeowners committee and added that this shows how ready the owners are to improve their community, safeguard their assets while maintaining their peace of mind.

The executive body of the Spanish Ridge housing scheme stated that they are extremely delighted for the opportunity to be given their own keys and that owning a new home is “a sign of prosperity”.

“It is our duty as a Government to ensure the process of owning a home is easy and affordable. We are demonstrating the fulfillment of this commitment by breaking ground and building a record number of units in the last 3 years,” Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness stated on his Facebook Page.

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Dancehall Artist Cecile Now Children’s Author of a book that features a Jamaican mermaid

Kingston, Jamaica:

As the world becomes more diverse so are children's books. Authors are crossing borders and letting children know that they can truly be anything they want to be. Your race, background or any other societal labels doesn't have to stop you from reaching the stars, climbing the highest mountain or conquering the deepest sea.  Cecile Claudine Charlton, popularly known as Dancehall artist Cecile, is one such creative inspiring children to be any and every type of greatness with her upcoming debut children’s book, “Oceana Adventures of a Jamaican Mermaid”.

Dancehall Artist Cecile Now Children's Author of a book that features a Jamaican mermaid

This book features Oceana, a black Jamaican mermaid who is from one of the oldest parishes of Jamaica, St. Thomas. Oceana loves Reggae music and adventures. When asked what inspired her, Cecile replied “I was inspired by the idea that my daughter should have a character that she could see herself in. My friend Kasi and I had been discussing the fact that all the characters the kids look up to or like didn’t look like them. I, not only wanted her to see herself in such a character but could also be able to relate to this character in terms of geography and music.”

It’s no doubt that representation matters and Jamaicans are just not represented well enough in popular books and media. It is no surprise that Jamaican children look up to and adore famous Disney characters such as Elsa from “Frozen” and Ryder from “Paw Patrol”. The books that sell out often in local books stores are often international bestsellers. Though there are more books written by local authors now than prior years, there’s still much more rooms for fictional stories with Jamaicans being the main characters.

Jamaica Live asked Cecile what impact will “Oceana Adventures of a Jamaican Mermaid” have on Jamaica and the world?

“If the kids are like my child, they will love it along with everything else they know. This is not about excluding them from anything. It’s more about including something that’s “of them”. As for everyone else, I have no idea what the impact will be but I’ve never dreamt small. Reading taught me from I was a child that you can achieve anything so I am thinking all types of greatness here,” she said.

Cecile Poses with her daughter Nana.

It took Cecile a week to complete this book. However, the ideas swirled around in her head for weeks before she committed it to paper. “Oceana Adventures of a Jamaican Mermaid” will be released very soon and will be available on several platforms. There will be also be branded Oceana items such as swim caps and swimsuits designed by Cecile’s daughter, Nana. There’s already a t-shirt branded "Rock By Nana” available on Amazon. Follow @badgyalcecile for updates.

Rock By Nana Shirt

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Over 1700 Dead from Ebola Virus. Jamaica Activates Its Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan

A worker of the Democratic Republic of Congo Health Ministry checks people’s temperature in Goma

Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa: In 1976, the Ebola virus was discovered near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The name "Ebola virus" is derived from the Ebola River—a river that was at first thought to be in close proximity to the area in Democratic Republic of Congo, previously called Zaire, where Ebola virus outbreak occurred.

Since that discovery, there have been several outbreaks with the latest currently happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

On July 17, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Ebola a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). This is a treaty intended to “prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease”.

There are currently over 2500 people infected, with 1700 of that number dying from the disease thus far. It has been reported that there are about 12 new cases daily. Currently, there is no cure for Ebola.

 HOW IS EBOLA TRANSMITTED? 

According to the World Health Organization, Ebola is an airborne disease. It is actually contracted through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, feces, and vomit. The virus has also been found in urine, semen and breast milk. Ebola virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days in a male who’s recovering. Saliva and tears may also present some risk. Humans are not the only ones spread Ebola. It can be transmitted from an infected animal such as fruit bat or monkey.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA?

The symptoms take 2-21 days to appear after being infected. In the early stages, Ebola mimics Flu symptoms. As it worsens, It causes bleeding from the nose, ears, eyes and inside the body. Some may experience bloody diarrhea and or rashes. Ebola is considered to be severe especially due to, dehydration, blood loss or multiple organ failure it brings. The last major outbreak in West Africa killed over 11,000 people.

HOW IS EBOLA PREVENTED?

 Currently, there is no cure for Ebola. Researchers are working on this. The best way to prevent Ebola is to stay away from infected areas and infected humans as well as animals that could possibly carry the virus.

HOW IS DRC HANDLING THIS CURRENT OUTBREAK?

It was reported that Oly Ilunga, health minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo resigned on July 22, 2019, in protest of the president’s handling of the Ebola crisis. He said in his letter to DRC President Félix Tshisekedi that “as a result of your decision to oversee the response to the Ebola epidemic, and because I anticipate that this decision will inevitably lead to a predictable outcry, I submit to you my resignation as Health Minister.”

He also claimed that information was hidden about plans to release an experimental vaccine in DRC. Said vaccine has been given to 161,000 people and is said to be 97% effective. The vaccine, however, is given to those who have had direct contact with someone infected with Ebola. As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, over 2500 people infected, with 1700 of that number dying from the disease thus far. It has been reported that there are about 12 new cases daily.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE CARIBBEAN?

Goma, a city that provides a doorway to the rest of the world, has its first confirmed case. This city holds about 2 million people. Therefore, the outbreak finding its way to other countries including the Caribbean is possible. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging regional countries to broaden their surveillance at ports of entry. Jamaica’s national Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan has been started up by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Jamaica’s Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton stated:

“Given the relatively robust surveillance and infection prevention and control practices in Jamaica, the public can be reassured that the current emergency response arrangements are in place to enable an appropriate response in the event of the introduction of the Ebola virus disease into the country.

The Ministry will also be ensuring capacities for the readiness which includes addressing stock levels of critical equipment and supplies, protocols for specimen and patient transportation and reporting requirements.”

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