Dr Fenton Ferguson and the Observer should apologize to Delano Seiveright

Sunday, Sept 7, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Caretaker for St Thomas Eastern, Delano Seiveright, says that there is a major outbreak of chikungunya in the constituency

Seiveright, Sunday called on the Ministry of Health to stop understating the impact of the disease and immediately lead a multi-stakeholder drive to limit the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

He said that following walks and incessant complaints from constituents in and around Nuts River, Morant Bay, Lyssons, Airy Castle, Port Morant, Duckenfield, Hampton Court and Bath, hundreds of people are noted to be affected by the symptoms of chikungunya.


The Jamaica Observer editorial on September 12, 2014.

Mr Seiveright should cool it

Of particular note is the seeming showdown between Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson and the JLP’s constituency caretaker for St Thomas East, Mr Delano Seiveright, who will likely challenge Dr Ferguson for the seat in the next general election due in just over two years.

That is why we caution Mr Seiveright in his utterances, as the creation of political discord is something that will not make chikungunya wander off to Jupiter.

The young politician, who once headed Generation 2000, may be suffering from a bout of youthful exuberance, but a matter of this importance ought to be handled with the level of maturity that it deserves.

Mr Seiveright is not a medical doctor, so therefore he cannot place himself in a position from which he can diagnose which citizen has the chikungunya virus. By debating figures with health personnel without the requisite evidence, the young man is merely setting himself up for ridicule, which he would want to stay away from due to his passion for representational politics.


Sept 11, 2014

Ferguson bashes Opposition over chikungunya claims

I see the last couple of days that there are elements within the Opposition, and more so elements in opposition in eastern Jamaica, trying to use a disease to create panic in our country,” Ferguson told a People’s National Party (PNP) constituency conference at Junction, South East St Elizabeth late Sunday.

Ferguson told PNP constituency workers and hardcore supporters at the BB Coke High School that while “constructive criticism” was important, the health sector, like education, should not be treated as “political football”.

“We cannot play with the health of a country by playing politics,” Ferguson, who is Member of Parliament for St Thomas Eastern, told Comrades.


Even people like George Davis on Nationwide was fooled by Dr Fenton Ferguson and had was also critical of Delano’s comments on the Chik-v situation.

Commonsenseja on Sept 8, 2014 wrote the following.

Massive outbreak of Chikv in Eastern St Thomas !

The Minister of Health is Dr Fenton Ferguson, who also happens to be the Member of Parliament for Eastern St Thomas, which is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of the Chikv virus in Jamaica.

For the last two weeks students, teacher and other members of the parish have been falling to this virus without much being done by the health authorities to address, what is now turning out to be an epidemic.

The response from the Ministry of Health has been inadequate and best and once again shows that despite the information that is available, the PNP continues to make a mess of managing just about everything no matter how important that “thing” is


I was not being an alarmist as having daily interactions with this Eastern Parish and my ears and eyes close to the ground, I was very aware of what was going on, but alas, the PNP gave the country the warm cosy feeling that all was well, until the people started getting the chills and the pain from Chikv and that was when they started to believe.

Dr Ferguson, elements of the media and certain commentators should now apologize to the opposition, as they we clearly on the ball from early, but the country ignored the warnings to their warnings.

I will speak about the opposition in another post.


6 Responses

  1. I agree. But the million dollar question is will they? I can see the apologists commenting now that this is everyone’s problem and the government alone cannot solve it.

  2. Jay:

    Could you provide some hard numbers of the number of individuals in St. Thomas (or any Parish for that matter), that have confirmed cases of the chikungunya virus? Since you are calling for people or organizations to apologize to Delano Seiveright, surely you are in a position to provide the requested information.

    Given your quasi-technical background, one would hope you decisions/motivations are data-driven. I hope you will provide the data to confirm that we have an epidemic on our hands and your “potentially” spurious commentaries on the subject are not politically driven. Show us the data Jay, since your statements and link articles above, has not contain a single reference to any data that could lead an individual to form a consensus as to the state of this so-called “major outbreak”. Will you provide the relevant data or are you just going ignore my request as you have consistently done when you are pushed into a corner without any valid defense mechanism at your disposal?

    • Sir,

      It appears that you have not been following the news releases from the those medical professional in particular the ones at the testting facility inn Trindiad.

      Here it what he said since it appears you have missed it.

      Dr Hospedales explained that CARPHA adheres to public health surveillance principles, and that once several people with chikungunya have had their diagnoses confirmed through laboratory testing in an area within a country, then testing is only carried out for certain groups of people based on clinical symptoms and the following criteria:

      1) Newly affected areas of countries, to confirm that the virus is present and circulating in that community;

      2) People who are severely ill and hospitalized;

      3) Pregnant mothers who are suspected of having the disease.


      Basically it is saying, once there are confirmed cases in an area, there is really no need to test everyone in that area that appears to have similar symptoms of those of the confirmed case.

      The Minister if Healh in Jamaica concedes and reported the following

      Jamaica, with a population of almost three million, has 352 suspected cases and 31 confirmed, which he said, suggests a gap in reporting.

      Minister Ferguson pointed out that not all cases are being tested, noting that in some countries, there is a testing ratio of one in 10 or one in 20.


      The problem in Jamaica is if one feels the party as in me that is reporting the numbers are politically aligned then the info must be politcal and not true, which therefore allows the problem to continue until there people comes froth wit the news, which is by then is always too late.

      Believe what you will, I am seeing the cases its affecting the levels of productivity in my work place and others whom I have been in contact with.

      I am not here trying to convince anyone, I have no time for that, but what I will not do is try to hide behind numbers.

      The minister tried this for a while and we now see the results.

      • Sir,

        Are you going to provide the numbers or not? You said there there is a major outbreak (epidemic?) of Chikungunya yet when pressed for the data to support your conclusion, you claim you do not want to hide behind numbers. Huh? Do we have a major epidemic on our hands or not? Does 352 suspected cases translates in 352 actual infections? Do people with flu like symptoms equate to actual infection or is it mass hysteria at work, with a select few capitalizing on the disease to cut work/school? Just a week or so ago we were lectured by you and your cohorts about “our” reasoning abilities or the lack thereof, only to be exposed to the same deficits on your path. Oh, what a difference a week makes.

        BTW, my father-in-law says he has Chikungunya and when he was asked what the family can do to help, he asked for a bottle of white rum, since he heard that it is the appropriate cure for the virus 😀 He hasn’t been to the doctor, so I guess he self-diagnosed his condition. We try calling him earlier and couldn’t get hold of him, so my guess is he is now at the closest rum bar treating illness in real-time and chatting it up with his drinking buddies.

        • So now those persons sick and not showing up for work are lying and using Chik-v to stay away from work/school. wow talk about being in denial.

          You know what there is no problem at all its just hysteria by the population.

          The minister says the case rate is between 10 – 20 suspected per confirmed cases. So based on the last figure before he stopped, meaning two weeks ago we could have had between 350 and 700 cases,

          The hospitals have run out of bed, but you know what those people just want to be in the hospital.

          The permanent secretary in the MOH made a prediction in terms of the number of cases we are likely to end up with, check on those numbers and tell us in your next post.

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