Dominica has received a commitment of assistance from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) should the deadly disease Ebola surface on the island.
This is according to health minister, Julius Timothy, who has returned to Dominica from a just concluded Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) health ministers’ meeting in St. Vincent.
“We have also gotten a commitment from PAHO that should Ebola ever surface in Dominica; they will immediately take over and bring all the resources to Dominica within 72 hours,” he said. “But the reality is we must prepare because in those 72-96 hours. We have to be prepared and that is why one of the things that we are asking the Cubans is to have a team ready in case any of the OECS countries contract Ebola have a team ready to come to our aid.”
Dominica’s Agriculture minister Matthew Walter is leading a Dominica delegation which consists of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. David Johnson and Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Ricketts to Cuba where health minister from ALBA countries are meeting to discuss the Ebola situation.
Timothy said here in Dominica screening units for the disease are in place at the airport.
“In Dominica, we have in place screening units now at the Melville Hall airport and we are finalizing the screening area at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and we are also identifying an isolation area,” he said.
When questioned about the “isolation area” he said that it was not yet finalized.
Timothy also said the OECS secretariat has agreed to update all opposition parties in member states of the Ebola status.
“The OECS Secretariat has agreed that they are going to update all the leaders of the opposition of the islands on what the status is as it relates to Ebola. Because the truth is, we don’t want Ebola to be politicized,” he said.
According to the Dominican health minister, “this thing (Ebola) is too serious and the consequences are too disastrous for us to be politicizing it.”
He urged the press not to sensationalize the matter.
“We are also urging the press not to sensationalize Ebola,” Timothy said.