All suspected Zika-related conditions to be reported at birth
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.