Friday, February 23, 2018

PM wants regional meeting on Ebola

HEALTH Minister Dr Fuad Khan believes a regional health meeting to discuss the Ebola virus would be one that produces “more action and less talk”.

Khan made the statement Thursday during the post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has written to Caricom secretary general Irwin La Rocque, Caricom chair and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, who has responsibility for health matters within the quasi-Caricom Cabinet.

“I wrote to them on an issue that has the potential to harm our region and our people. You may know that on August 8, 2014 the World Health Organisation said the spread of Ebola in West Africa is an international health emergency. The organisation said that the coordinated response is essential to stop and reverse the spread of the virus. 

The director-general of the WHO said that this was the most complex outbreak in the four decades of this disease,” Persad-Bissessar said during a meeting of the United National Congress on Monday night.

No response to Persad-Bissessar’s letter has been forthcoming as yet.

Khan however said he believed discussion would bear fruit.

“I think the disease that is facing us right now the Ebola virus and the high fatality rate I do believe that there will be more action and less talk and I thank the honourable Prime Minister for initiating such a meeting,” Khan said.

Khan maintained that this country is in a position to deal with the Ebola virus

“We are in a position to deal with all diseases because most diseases have a medical management component,” he said.

“We also have increased our surveillance methods to make sure that entry of anybody who is infected would be picked up and maybe be assisted and quarantined so management of these cases such as Ebola have not been defined fully by the external developed countries, management is making sure that there is enough blood available and making sure that enough medical treatment is available however one has to understand that the Blood Bank of Trinidad and Tobago is being reorganised so we can increase the amount of uptake of blood products,” Khan said.