PRESS RELEASE – In an effort to enhance Saint Lucia’s preparedness for all diseases of public health concern, including the deadly Ebola virus, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations is hosting a stakeholders meeting today, Thursday, August 14, at the St. Lucia National Mental Wellness Center.
The forum will provide an overview of the virus. Prevention and control measures will also be presented and discussed.
The meeting is aimed at also reducing the possibility of importation and spread of the disease. The ministry has already placed the island on alert regarding the possible entry of the Ebola virus.
This deadly disease is currently at epidemic levels in the West African countries of Sierra Leon, Liberia, Nigeria and Guinea. Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic disease that is transmitted through close personal contact with a person infected with Ebola.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Merlene Fredericks had told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that there will be no restrictions of trade and travel from Ebola-affected countries. This comment came in light of concerns raised locally about the possible outbreak here; given St Lucia is a tourist island.
According to Dr. Fredericks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that the outbreak is of international concern and is a public health threat, but noted there is no restriction on trade or travel.