by Linda Straker
- 3 suspected cases tested negative
- Covid-19 preventative measures employed to prevent Monkeypox
- Ministry is ensuring systems in Grenada can detect Monkeypox virus
Dr Shawn Charles, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health said Grenada has learned lessons from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that will put the healthcare system in a better position to contain and control the Monkeypox virus which has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We have taken from the lessons we have learned from dealing with the recent Covid-19 pandemic. We have adapted in our preparation to deal with Monkeypox,” Dr Charles said during an interview on Monday. He said that from the Ministry of Health’s perspective, they have started sensitisation so that people are aware of the disease, how it is spread, and what you can do to protect yourself.
“We are also preparing our systems, so we have made preparations for testing to be done here because just a few weeks ago maybe, very few countries in the world could detect Monkeypox. Now we are rapidly getting our system together,” he said on the Government Information Service (GIS) weekly television programme, The Next Chapter.
“We have procured the reagents, the training of our lab personnel has already taken place and they have already started running the initial controls on the machine because we are using PCR to detect Monkeypox,” he said.
“The PCR machine can be used to detect a large number of organisms you simply need to get the right reagent to operate the machine. We have sought to procure these reagents, and like I say the lab has started and they are at an advanced stage of preparation.” Dr Charles explained that the Ministry is ensuring that the systems here can detect the Monkeypox virus.
As part of the preparation, the Ministry has also prepared guidelines for healthcare providers. “The guidelines include preparation for how you manage the disease, how you manage a case if one appears here in Grenada.” He explained that in terms of prevention the same measures that everyone knows when it comes to Covid-19, are the same employed to prevent Monkeypox. These include social distancing, wearing a face covering, handwashing, and regular sanitising of hands.
Grenada recently confirmed 3 suspected cases, but the samples sent for testing came back negative for the Monkeypox virus. The first sample was tested by the CDC, and the other 2 were tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) lab in Trinidad.