Who believes Barbados is ready to treat Ebola?
It is interesting to observe how Barbados has reacted to the Ebola threat. In spite of the assurance from the Barbados government that surveillance measures are in place at the airport and the seaport, in real terms, we know the surveillance is NOT a robust method to screen Ebola affected travellers seeking to enter Barbados.
Given the importance of tourism to Barbados and service economies in the region, a decision to ban incoming non Barbadians who have visited Africa in the last 30 days should have been axiomatic. The region should have acted in concert given our vulnerability as a tourism destination. The fact that St. Lucia, St. Vincent and a few neighbouring islands have banned travellers from visiting who have visited Africa means nothing if the region is perceived by the outside world as one space.
BU is of the view individuals who have visited Africa in the last 30 days should not be permitted to enter Barbados (and the Caribbean space). The embargo should also extend to imports vulnerable to the virus.
Minister John Boyce has broken his silence to confirm that Barbados has recorded 49 confirmed cases of chikungunya and 200 suspected cases. To be fair to minister Boyce he is quoted as saying “the figures could be higher because a number of Barbadians might have resorted to treating themselves at home, rather than going to see a doctor.” BU wants to challenge the 200 suspected cases number by suggesting it is more like in the thousands. On the weekend health inspectors confirmed there is a probability 60% of Barbadians will contract chikungunya.
What is chikungunya?
Click here to view a Digital Press Kit on chikungunya from the CDC News Room. Chikungunya (pronunciation: \chik-en-gun-ye) virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countriesin Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. When traveling to countries with chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens – CDC
Submitted by Robert D. Lucas, PH.D and CFS Food biotechnologist & Certified Food Scientist
Leonard St. Hill (former Town Planner believes too “many epidemics in Africa seem to have the effect of weapons of mass destruction”
There was a letter in the Daily Nation (30th. September 2014), entitled: Ebola a weapon of mass destruction? written by Mr. Leonard St.Hill. The gist of what he had to say is as follow: he avers that the absence of speculation (presumably its origins) over Ebola virus raises some suspicion. He goes on to state “that too many epidemics in Africa seem to have the effect of weapons of mass destruction which can result in genocide. He concludes that Africa is serving as a laboratory where the pharmaceutical (western) industry, use native Africans as test subjects to ascertain the efficacy of the pathogen and antidote, whilst making a financial killing.”
In the past , I have stated that persons should always stick to their areas of technical expertise and that the majority of Barbadians are scientific illiterates. St.Hill falls under both headings. He displays gross ignorance of microbiology and biotechnology and is guilty of disseminating false innuendoes to an uninitiated public.
The major pharmaceutical companies have little interest in doing research in little known tropical diseases. The returns on their investment are not worth it. The people of Africa are too poor and cannot afford the cost of a complete regimen of treatment. The return on investment is also one of the reasons; there have been few new antibiotics on the market. You are infected, you pop a few pills and the infection goes away. Then there is the regimen of vaccinations, which means that most life-threatening diseases are held at bay. The companies make their money from chronic diseases such as, certain forms of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. They want repeat clients, this where they make their money.
Malathion is mixed with other chemicals by ministry of health officials in the ‘war’ against mosquitoes.
The Ministry of Education has finally taken the decision to relocate pupils of the Grazettes Primary School. Why the matter to relocate took several days after the revelation by the ministry of health that several chemicals were mixed including MALATHION is surprising. Further – the fact there has been no hue and cry, although not surprising given the docile DNA of the average Barbadian, is still disappointing.
The Malathion Fact Sheet makes for interesting reading about the organophosphate insecticide MALATHION. Obviously the ministry of health has a job to do to rid the landscape of nettlesome insects. Given the rising prevalence of Chikungunya and Dengue in Barbados BU is sympathetic to the work the ministry of health has to do. BUT, the ministry has a responsibility to also protect public health. How dangerous chemicals are used to achieve the intended purpose in environs children have to populate demands a high level of responsibility.
Here is an extract from the Malathion Fact Sheet:
Exposure due to drift and overspray can also be problematic, as is well illustrated by several examples. A homeowner adjacent to a school in Arizona sprayed his garden with malathion. The spray drifted into the school ventilation system and caused nearly 300 elementary school children to be hospitalized with headaches, nausea, and breathing difficulties.(7)
See relevant link: Malathion Fact Sheet posted by Georgie Porgie
The Barbados government has established an Ebola isolation centre on an adjacent compound to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital overlooking two popular schools. This week we learned about health care workers who have become infected with Ebola after treating Ebola patients and the reason given by the … National Nurses United, the largest registered nurse union, surveys of their membership indicate that most nurses feel hospital administrations have not communicated adequately with staff about Ebola response plans – Ebola Protocol Breach Raises Questions About Where to Treat Patients
The latest development is important because if health workers like those in Jamaica threaten not to treat Ebola patients, we have a problem. The following two comments by BU family members are important to the Ebola conversation. Continue reading
Posted in Health
Hon.John Boyce, Minister of Health
The following was extracted from Charlene D Jordan’s Facebook page. A riveting account of an encounter by a Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic student at the Six Roads Polyclinic.
A pleasant Good Afternoon to one and all. I just thought i’d share this incident with my fb Family. So about 20 minutes ago, I went to Six Roads, St.Philip’s Clinic. My reason for going there was to get an immunization for my medical certificate for the school I attend- SJPP. When I arrived at the clinic I went straight to the immunization waiting area. I saw a sign on the door saying, “Please knock & Wait Patiently” , I did exactly what it said.
Suddenly I heard a reply from A Lady, she said “YESS’!! I Replied: Good Afternoon, She said: COME IN. I opened the door and calmly explained to her what I came for, which I said I need an immunization for the school I attend. NOTE: I was wearing my school uniform plus my School’s ID card. She said : “Wa school is dis now”? I said: SJPP. She said: “Wa dem want you get immunization for now”!!! I said: for my medical form.
The case of the man who travelled from Liberia to Texas, United States and had to visit the hospital twice before the geography challenged hospital workers were able to connect the dots, has exposed the readiness of the US healthcare system to mobilize under an Ebola threat. It took days before those who lived in a modest apartment with the Ebola patient got their room sanitized by US authorities. Now that Ebola has entered the White man’s world we intend to observe how the developed world mobilizes against Ebola. The real challenge remains at the source, West AFRICA!
The biggest joke of the week though is acting minister of health Donville Inniss trivializing concerns about Barbados preparedness from head of BAMP Dr. Carlos Chase.
See relevant link: Health Ministry Responds to Ebola Article