CIG budgets almost $3million for Ebola

| 19/11/2014

(CNS): As the death toll in the world’s worst ever outbreak of the Ebola virus reaches close to 5200 the Cayman Islands government has budgeted almost $3million on equipment to prepare the country for the possibility of an infected patient arriving here. There have been no cases of Ebola in Cayman or anywhere in the Caribbean though a number of Cuban doctors working in West Africa are believed to have been infected. But as a precautionary measure medical personnel and government officials are still continuing preparations for the unlikely event of a case in Cayman. Officials said government has now spent $1.2M on an EVD-rated Odulair field hospital and another $1.7M has been earmarked for inpatient staffing, EMS premium, training for staff and supplies.

The field hospital, which is expected to arrive in Cayman soon, has eight beds and will be established on the grounds in the existing staff parking lot it will also include a ventilator, dialysis, monitors, wheelchair, laser thermometer and 36 reusable helmets. A temporary isolation area has been identified and is in the process of being equipped and supplied to be used if a case is detected before the field unit arrives.

Hospital staff members have also been identified as front-line EVD carers and additional training took place abroad about two weeks ago for select H.S.A staff.

The Minister for Health Osbourne Bodden has urged residents of the Cayman Islands not to panic but to be aware of the virus, and to get proper advice as required. “Although the threat is very low, things could change and for that reason we should not be complacent,” he warned.

Globally, more than 14,400 people have been infected in six countries. The largest numbers have been in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and more recently Mali.  A small number of patients were also infected Nigeria and Senegal. The virus has spread to Spain and the US in particular through health care workers.

While there have been no new reported cases in the Caribbeanor US within the last three weeks, there has been a death of a doctor flown in from Sierra Leone for treatment of Ebola increasing the death toll to two in America. The two nurses that contracted Ebola in the USA, along with the doctor in New York, are now disease free.

There are currently also travel restrictions in place for visitors or residents returning to the Cayman Islands from endemic countries.

Visitors or returning residents from the endemic countries, or persons who have travelled to, from or through Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone within 21 days of their planned arrival are not allowed to land in the Cayman Islands. To ensure application of this travel restriction, the Immigration Department has developed a Travel Health Questionnaire which has been distributed to all airlines.  All passengers including Caymanians/Cayman Status holders, returning residents and visitors are required to complete the form.

In efforts of early detection, cruise ships also have internal mechanisms to ensure implementation at local boarders.

Medical Officer for Health Dr Kiran Kumar said Cayman’s precautionary and preventative measures were in compliance with CARICOM’s Heads of Government adopted plan of action.

“The global picture is changing every day. Hence in addition to the countries with travel ban travellers from Mali also will be subjected to health screening and quarantine measures on arrival in Cayman,” he added.

With steps ranging from public education to training and execution, the ultimate goal of the plan is to protect residents against Ebola.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids such as blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine or faeces of an Ebola Virus Disease infected person (alive or dead). For example, touching an infected person’s eyes, nose or mouth or an open cut, wound or abrasion can transmit the virus to the person touching.  However, any person thus exposed to the virus but without symptoms cannot transmit the virus. The public is asked to avoid such exposures and maintain personal hygiene through sanitisation and hand washing.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This ebola crap will soon be over so it was a waste of money lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can CNS confirm with the HSA what training was given to medical practitioners? It important to know this because if health care workers in the US of all places were accidentally infected then we should know what type of theoretical and practical training Dr. Kiran Kumar arranged for the practitioners that will be on the front line   Also was there a report. Or summary brought back toshare with those that we're not involved? Remember some patients might end up at district clinics…. How prepared are they in the event a patient does end up at one of these clinics? 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Given the government's record for maintaining its equipment I think that all of this stuff will gointo storage and if ebola comes…

    a) the stuff will not be found

    b) if found, the stuff will have composted in storage and not be in good working order

    c) the staff will have forgotten how to use the stuff

    What a waste.

    However, it does make for a good sound bite and some nice "commissions" for "salespersons".

  4. Anonymous says:

    Zeal without  knowledge is fire without light.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Give a fool enough rope and he will hang himself.

  6. haranguer rides again. says:

    Stop wasting our money.

  7. C'mon Now! says:

    Hmm, Ebola will most likely not go away in our lifetime so are we going to keep a tent hopsital setup in a parking lot on permanent basis?  What do we do if we have cases during a storm?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Isn't AIDS transmitted the same way?  Didn't and don't see $3M budgeted for that all these years, but its still OK to sleep with whoever, whenever.  Only now are the Red Cross and helpers puttting condomn machines in bathrooms (which will probably never be used, laughed at and destroyed for fun)….does the Government help pay for them? 

    Again, its the me, me, me scenario….make sure the politicians and wealthy are ok by budgeting such money so 'we' will be safe.

    Agree with previous writer……..sad and pathetic!

    • Anonymous says:

      The bigquestion is!!!!!!! Do we have Medical Staff at the Airport or docks to combat & assist in identifying these diseases,  and how will these cases  be identified and handled  immediately?  God help us if these problems become an epidemic in our Islands. Every day we have humans arriving on our islands, have no idea of their ports of entry before reaching here  This could be  a disaster in itself as we  are not aware if they have a "Clean Bill of Health"????

      Do we have any repatriation mechanism in place for foreign nationals if they fall ill with the Ebola – will  Cayman Airways be used or some other airtransport?? then what  do we resort to in the absence of full coverage Insurance, and no family members to pick of the tab?  

  9. Anonymous says:

    No one is even talking about Ebola anymore. The media craze for it has expired. Cayman we ga a bunch of ole fools fiddling with our tax dollas!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Somebody in the Health Dept has obviously been visited by a very good salesman. I know we have hordes of Caymanians vsiting Sierra Leone and Liberia on a reguar basis to buy mangoes, ut this is really overdoing it.

  11. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Who got the contract for supplying the equipment, was it tendered, and what exactly are "EMS premiums"?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what the kickbacks (sorry – 'commission' payments) were on that little lot?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Complete and utter nonsense. The equivalent of bread and circuses in the old days of the Roman Empire to show the population that all is well. Our politicians LOVE these easy wins-new roads, post offices in the districts, buildings (no matter what) in the district, beach cabanas that only dregs of society use all day as in Coe-Wood beach in BT, stalls for the sale of local goods as in Coe-Wood beach in Bodden Town (never used), boat launching ramps for ever declining populations of fishermen, radar stations etc etc. Sad and pathetic but "Ozzie is on the ball".

    • the voice says:

      All those things you mentioned were brought by the UDP (Mark & Jon Jon)



    • Anonymous says:

      Should the Health Services wait for the worst to occur then react and start to make preparations while the numbers increase. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. This is not about politics, its about safety for the entire country. 

    • I need to know says:

      From Ebola prevention and containment initiatives to Coe-Wood beach and a boat ramp. How'd you manage that one?

      • Anonymous says:

        Simple, 19:14, they are all examples of "for public show" spending that politicians of all types, parties and districts go in for to demonstrate to the public that they are busy doing things for them -even when it is all of doubtful value.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of these swells have had more spouses than there have been ebola patients in the US (over 300,000,000 people many of whom serve in the infected areas).  What a waste.