Montego Bay, December 16, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is encouraging persons who suspect that they may have dengue to seek treatment early.
Speaking at a Dengue Town Hall Meeting at the Negril Community Centre in Westmoreland on December 12, Dr. Tufton said many severe cases of dengue recorded at hospitals and other health institutions are from persons who turn up as “late presentations”.
“They had contracted the virus, but they went late to the doctor or hospital because they tried to fix the problem on their own,” the Minister said.
“A part of it is cultural, and the cultural norms have acted against us in terms of the extreme cases and the deaths,” he added.
Dr. Tufton emphasised that Jamaicans must seek help at the first sign of illness to reduce serious dengue cases. He is also warning against persons using “bush medicine” to treat the illness, noting that dengue should always be diagnosed and treated by a trained physician and clinician.
“I am not suggesting that those [bush medicine] don’t have medicinal qualities. The challenge is what quantity it has and what other qualities it has, and whether it is appropriate to solving the problem at that particular point in time,” Dr. Tufton said.
“Don’t try the bush medicine before you see the doctor, and let the doctor direct you whether or not the bush medicine should be tried or something else. We have lost Jamaicans who have tried to remedy the situation on their own, based on their tradition and customs,” he added.
In the Negril area there are weekly campaigns to search out and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint and muscle pains. The fever is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and symptoms of the disease typically begin three to 14 days after infection.
Contact: Okoye Henry
Header: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, speaks at a Dengue Town Hall Meeting, held at the Negril Community Centre in Westmoreland on Thursday, December 12.
Insert: Residents of Negril who attended a Dengue Town Hall Meeting held at the Negril Community Centre in Westmoreland, on Thursday, December 12.