Team will help combat cholera

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

In addition to medical practitioners, the contingent will include Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) personnel who will provide logistical support and security. They will take with them medical supplies for the treatment of patients as well as water treatment applications.

Golding said he was heartened by the number of people who, without call-out, have volunteered to be part of the team.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that Golding, as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has also been in touch with other regional governments as well as the Special Representative to Haiti, P.J. Patterson, in coordinating the Community’s response to this latest crisis.

“The Jamaican government will be working closely with other CARICOM governments and international agencies to contain and defeat the cholera epidemic which Mr. Golding said is not only a cause for alarm in Haiti but a threat to the entire region and, in particular, Jamaica because of its close proximity,” the statement said.

Almost 20,000 people have been confirmed to be suffering from cholera and more than 1,100 have died since the outbreak began last month.

Although Jamaica is providing assistance to Haiti, Golding has made it clear that his country will protect its borders to prevent the disease from reaching its shores.

Golding has instructed the JDF and the Maritime Police to intensify their surveillance to intercept boat traffic between Haiti and Jamaica, to ensure that the necessary test and quarantine procedures are fully enforced in relation to persons arriving in Jamaica from Haiti.

Surveillance and response procedures are already in place at the island’s airports to be on the alert for those who have recently been in Haiti or who display cholera-related symptoms.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has given instructions for a team of medical and support personnel to be mobilized for deployment to Haiti to assist in combating the cholera epidemic that is ravaging that country.

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