Health Minister Calls for Increased Vigilance for the Zika Virus during Hospital Tours

:(L-R) Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton (c) holds a discussion with the management team of the St. Ann's Bay Regional Hospital during a tour of the facility on Friday, June 17, 2016. Also in photo are (L-R) Mr. Tyrone Robinson, Board Chairman, North East Regional Health Authority, Mr. Michael Belnavis, Chairman, Hospital Management Committee for the St. Ann's Bay Regional Hospital, Dr. Ian Titus, Acting Senior Medical Officer, St. Ann's Bay Regional Hospital and Mr. Leo Garel, Chief Executive Officer. St. Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.

Story Highlights

  • The Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton cautioned healthcare workers and the general population to remain vigilant and protect themselves from the zika virus during his tour of health facilities.

  • The St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital has a three hundred (300) bed capacity and offers a wide range of health services.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton cautioned healthcare workers and the general population to remain vigilant and protect themselves from the zika virus during his tour of health facilities. Minister Tufton toured the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover on Thursday, June 16, 2016 followed by the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital on Friday, June 17, 2016. The islandwide tour is to examine and to get a firsthand view of the status of the public health sector.

“These tours are a part of the national progamme to move around and see firsthand the administration of the public health system and I am using this opportunity as a drive to remind and encourage healthcare professionals and the general population of the current threat of the zika virus that we are encountering and trying to overcome and to remind persons to take the necessary precautions to get rid of mosquito breeding sites by examining their homes once a week,” he said.

Minister Tufton also reminded persons who are experiencing symptoms including fever, rash and red eyes that could be zika, and later develop weakness of the limbs, as well as shortness of breath to visit the doctor or health facility immediately. He says this could be a sign of a developing complication associated with zika.

During the tour of the Noel Holmes Hospital, Minister Tufton indicated that there are a number of ongoing projects that he intends to complete such as the operating theatre, sewage treatment plant which is almost completed and the new administrative building. The Noel Holmes Hospital which is a heritage site was recently refurbished and now has a bed capacity of thirty eight (38) and offers maternity and general ward services.

The St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital has a three hundred (300) bed capacity and offers a wide range of health services. It is the main referral hospital for the three (3) general hospitals and seventy (70) health centres located in Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann and also serves parts of Trelawny, Manchester and Clarendon.

Some of the major areas of improvements that took place over recent times at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital include the expansion of the new female medical ward and increased bed capacity, renovation of the old female medical ward to create an overflow ward, the expansion of the pediatric nursery, renovation of out-patient bathrooms and procurement of some well needed equipment.