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Grenada forms chikungunya-dengue taskforce
Published on March 13, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) -- With the issue of the chikungunya (or ChickV) virus becoming a serious public health threat as cases continue to increase in some Caribbean islands, Grenada’s Health Minister Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen has taken the lead to establish a multi-stakeholder task-force that will consider ways to prevent and manage the chikungunya virus should it enter Grenada.

The task-force held its first meeting on Friday during which members were updated on the regional situation. Dengue and other mosquito borne diseases were also discussed at that meeting.

Dr Calum Macpherson, the vice provost of St George’s University (SGU) and director of (WINDREF), is a member of the group and, according to him, Modeste-Curwen must be credited for taking the lead in putting plans in place to deal with such public health issues.

“This is a terrific initiative because the better prepared you are the faster you are going to make a response, the faster you make a response the fewer the cases are going to be so having all the experts together to come up with appropriate solutions that are affordable, appropriate for our situation in Grenada,” he said.

Dr George Mitchell, the chief medical officer in the ministry of health, believes that the meeting was timely and instructive.

Mitchell said the composition of the group brings a wealth of experience together and as such given the increase of ChickV and the dengue epidemic in the region having such a working group spearheading the effort is a plus for the island.

The task-force includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, Community Nursing Department, Pharmacy, SGU Epidemiology, the Grenada Port Authority, the General Hospital Laboratory, WINDREF, Environmental Health - Vector Control Division and Health Promotion.

Up until Friday afternoon there were 66 confirmed cases of ChickV in Dominica while an additional 200-plus had health authorities working around the clock to manage further outbreaks in that country.
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