KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica’s National Emergency Response Team has been activated to coordinate and support the country’s response to the current outbreak of Chikungunya .
The government has also allocated an additional J$150 million to the Chikungunya response, which includes a massive clean-up campaign aimed at destroying and removing mosquito breeding sites.
The information came out of a technical meeting on Thursday of key Government agencies involved in the ongoing response. Following a Ministerial meeting on the issue Wednesday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller addressed the technical meeting and mandated those involved to be thorough and consistent in the planning, implementation and public communication of the ongoing national response. The National Emergency Response Team, which is headed by the Prime Minister, involves ministries, agencies and non-government stakeholders, with the ODPEM having a lead role in coordination and implementation.
The Team’s activation is at level two meaning that activation is related to a specific event or specific events. Its activation will also provide "a robust, thorough, intensive and extensive management framework" for Jamaica's planning for prevention, mitigation and response action in respect of other communicable diseases including Ebola. This planning and preparation has already started with focused attention being paid to the various ports of entry and sensitisation and response training of key first responders, including health workers, being undertaken by the Ministry of Health. Training of other stakeholders, including Immigration Officers, Customs Officers and other air and seaport workers will be intensified, as well.