All sus­pected Zika-re­lated con­di­tions to be re­ported at birth

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS -

AS PART of its over­all sur­veil­lance of Zika and Zika-re­lated ef­fects, the Min­istry of Health has in­di­cated that all mi­cro­cephaly, Guil­lain-Barre Syn­drome and neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions that may be re­lated to Zika virus in­fec­tion are to be re­ported on sus­pi­cion.

The mos­quito-borne virus re­mains a Class 1 no­ti­fi­able dis­ease and all sus­pected cases are to be re­ported to the Par­ish Health Depart­ment or the Na­tional Sur­veil­lance Unit at the Min­istry of Health.

This rec­om­men­da­tion, which forms part of the clin­i­cal man­age­ment and sur­veil­lance guide­lines, was re­it­er­ated by the Ex­pert Group on Chil­dren of Moth­ers with Sus­pected/Con­firmed ZIKV In­fec­tion at their sec­ond meet­ing last month.

“This is just one of the many rec­om­men­da­tions that will be mon­i­tored by this ex­pert group, and the ex­pec­ta­tion is that by the end of the month, the ca­pac­ity of the pub­lic health sys­tem will be in­creased to deal with ba­bies born with mi­cro­cephaly and other neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders,” Health Min­is­ter Dr Christo­pher Tufton said.

PART OF MIN­ISTRY’S RE­SPONSE

The ex­pert group was formed as part of the Min­istry of Health’s re­sponse to man­ag­ing Zika-re­lated birth de­fects. The group con­sists of a neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist, pae­di­atric psy­chol­o­gist, child psy­chi­a­trist, pae­di­atric neu­rol­o­gist, be­havioural pae­di­a­tri­cian, pae­di­a­tri­cian and an early-child­hood ed­u­ca­tion spe­cial­ist.

A fur­ther divi­sion of the group has been done to have smaller group­ings that will fo­cus on neu­rode­vel­op­ment, psy­choso­cial sup­port, ed­u­ca­tion and in­ter­ven­tion, di­ag­nos­tics, ob­stet­rics, re­search and bud­get sup­port.

In­di­vid­u­als who wish to ob­tain more in­for­ma­tion may call the Min­istry of Health or the near­est health cen­tre. Per­sons may also visit the web­site at moh.gov.jm; like and fol­low on www.face­book.com/the­mo­hgovjm; https://twit­ter.com/the­mo­hgovjm; https://in­sta­gram.com/the­mo­hgovjm.

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