Ready for Ebola my ASS !

My worst fears were just confirmed after reading today’s Gleaner ( Thursday, Oct 2, 2014) captioned EBOLA PANIC.

This time for the first in a long time, we have had the people on the ground,  telling us , the country is NOT ready for an Ebola outbreak. Normally they would not say anything and just allow the technocrats to continue to fool the people into thinking that all is well and as such I must congratulate them on taking practical steps to inform the country and thus push us into action.

The Minster said we are ready, the Permanent Secretary says we are ready and Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse says we are ready, but the people who are on the ground, the ones who will actually be doing the work have said, we are NOT ready, who do you believe ?

“We don’t have any money in Jamaica, but if it comes, I don’t know how many of us are going to be willing to come to work. We in ICU are not going to deal with it. I’m not going to expose my doctors and nurses to that,” he continued. “So Accident and Emergency will have to decide what they are going to do with the first one (case).”

She said that doctors should look for signs, including persons coming in with fevers higher than 38.6Celsius, flu-like symptoms, and whether the patients are from countries affected by the dreaded illness. Measures should be taken to quarantine such individuals, Maycock said.

“But where will we quarantine them? We don’t even have the equipment,” said another doctor. “[Health Minister] Fenton Ferguson won’t be here to buy them (gear) when Ebola comes here. We are going to hear that he is not on the island,” she added, to snickers from the gathering.

“At least we can start with the available stuff that are in place. Start with the standard PPE and work our way up. As it stands now, there is nothing in place,” he said.

The above are the frightening and alarming excerpts taken from the Jamaica Gleaner and are the expression from first reponders and medical practitioners right here in Jamaica.

Can you imagine, we do NOT even have the available Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to adequately address the situation if this stuff reaches Jamaica.

I hear Dr Harvey and the Minister and Dr Ducassee, suggesting we have systems at our Port of Entry to detect anyone who could possibly come here with the deadly virus, but is that really true. The fact that a first world country like the USA could have missed a case of a man contracting the deadly virus and actually entering the USA undetected has not only shaken me to the core, but it tells me that it hardly likely that Jamaica in its current state can do one better than the USA.

This PNP administration  must stop treating Jamaicans like mushroom ( keep us in the dark and feed us sh#t). Cut the PR bullsh#t and start taking practical steps to safeguard the people of this country against this deadly disease.

Get first responders, eg fire men, cops, healthcare workers, custom and immigration officials at the port the proper PPE’s eg bio hazard suits, Bloodborne pathogen spill and clean up kits, the correct respirators goggles, heavy duty surgical gloves etc, so they can first protect themselves and then respond to and treat any suspect case.

It is very clear from the early warning by those from the workshop yesterday, that they have NO confidence in the present government’s ability to handle this situation and so have brought it to the public’s attention, so we the population of 2.7m can begin to demand action from the government vs reassurance, that practicals steps are in fact being taken to prepare us adequately for Ebola should it arrive here.

I will be watching to see how the nation reacts to this frightening news from those who the Minister assures us are ready to fight Ebola, regarding the fact that the health system is NOT ready to deal with this deadly illness.

It would be interesting to see if the Public demands to see the practical actions that are being taken to assure us that the systems are in place or are we going to be allowed to get the warm fuzzy feeling as in the Chik-V case until we all start dropping like mosquitoes and not knowing that we are being afflicted  by Ebola until its too late.

As a country we must learn from our mistakes. The Government screwed us with the current Chik-v outbreak and we suffered, but thankfully are alive, let’s not allow the same thing to happen with Ebola.

Let’s get up and demand action. As part of this demand, Commonsenseja is calling on the Ministry of Health to prove to us that we are ready

  1. Show us precisely what is in place at the points of entry to protect workers there as well as any passenger who may have come in contact with a suspected EBOLA case ie show us via JIS videos.
  2. Shows us what precisely is in place toput this person in “isolation” and the method that would be used to transport him/her to the nearest health facility that is capable of handling this case.
  3. Show us what is in place to detect the possible presence of Ebola in a incoming passenger.
  4. Show us what systems are in place or will be put in place to trace where the person with the suspect case came from and who he may have been in contact with on the arriving vessel.
  5. Show us the system that is in place to deal with anyone coming in from parts of the world where the virus is rampant. We know the incubation period is up to 21 days, so if someone comes in from those affected parts of the world and show no initial signs of the virus, what systems are in place to monitor this person for the full 21 days before giving him/her a clean bill of health?
  6. What if such a person misses our incoming screening ie shows no sign of the deadly virus but later shows up at one of our health centers, let’s say in rural Jamaica. What steps are being taken to ensure those workers know how to address this situation ie detect the signs of the virus and the referral process that should take place to ensure he/she gets to a medical facility that can handle the patient.
  7. Show us a couple of these isolation units, where the suspected patients would be taken to , we would like to see so we can be assured that something is actually in place.

The above demands are more than reasonable and I would like readers of this blog join me in demanding answers to questions raised or verification of actions that have been said to have been taken thus far to address this clear and present danger.

I will look later at how our social conditions would like lead to massive outbreak among-st the poor and vulnerable in this country.


3 Responses

  1. Dr Fenton Ferguson after weeks of suggesting that Jamaica is ready, is now admitting that due to financial constraints the country is in fact no ready for Ebola .
    I’d be damned !

    This is the reason I was happy that the medicals professionals on the ground spoke out and now Dr has done a 180.

    We no longer have any trust and confidence in Dr Ferguson and he should pack his bags and go.

    How can this man let the country down like this and take us for fools on such a serious issue.

    This is totally unacceptable. !

  2. President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) endorses the questions I raised above.

  3. I am total shock by what I just read in the Jamaica Gleaner a few minutes ago, but why should I be, when I suspected all along this was the case and challenged the authority to answer questions 1-6 above.

    WESTERN BUREAU: Immigration and Customs officers at the island’s two main international airports are to receive training on how to detect and assess persons entering the country who may have had exposure to Ebola.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse said training will commence next Monday, October 6, at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA

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