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Ebola treatment facility to be constructed

Ebola treatment facility to be constructed

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The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is seeking to locate a place to build a facility where persons suffering with ebola and other infectious diseases can be treated.

During a sitting of Parliament on October 24, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the need for a special facility was discussed {{more}}during an ALBA summit on ebola in Cuba last week.

“We do not have a facility in St Vincent and the Grenadines, in any OECS country or indeed in any country in the Caribbean, before the ebola crisis and since the crisis which has arisen recently, where you can say that you have a proper centre to house persons who are suffering from ebola,” he said.

“In my discussion with the director of the Pan American Health Organization…I was advised that St Vincent and the Grenadines would need anything between five and eight beds. We do not have at the hospital, a system which is sufficiently geared to quarantine somebody with symptoms for ebola because we need to have a separate system of waste disposal…and we need to have a system for the incineration for certain kinds of products. I have here a design which PAHO has given us. It’s in the hands of the people at the Ministry of Health and they are under instructions to work with the chief engineer; we are getting some technical help; we are seeking to locate a place where we can build a facility.”

In his address to Parliament, Gonsalves also noted that this country, being an archipelagic state, has a greater problem than any other country in CARICOM, except The Bahamas, as it relates to the virus entering the state.

“We, on the 29 of August banned travel from anyone coming out of the three main affected areas (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) in West Africa,” the Prime Minister said.

He explained that additionally persons travelling from Nigeria were expected to present a negative ebola test, which was done within seven days of arriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We put those things in place while we are doing the education, the training and setting up the systems internally. We have been very vigilant from the beginning.”

Gonsalves, the Minister with responsibility for National Security, also pointed out that an ebola fact sheet and an information form is given to all visitors who arrive here.

“Mr Speaker, it is a form to get information as part of the monitoring. It is being reviewed. We are always going to see how we can better the questionnaire and it is now placed in the hands of LIAT and placed on all LIAT flights coming to St Vincent,” he said.

“I want to remind us that in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we are assessed as having a very low risk of an outbreak here and in the Caribbean,” he said.

“We have to address the problems as you see them emerging and take proactive steps, which are what we are doing with this matter.”(BK)

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