H1N1 situation is stable – Min Ramsammy
The Ministry of Health continues to effectively deal with the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus in Guyana, and according to Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy no more cases have been confirmed thus far.
The Minister told this newspaper yesterday that an additional 104 specimens were sent for testing and there were no cases confirmed.
Thus far there are only nine confirmed cases of the virus in Guyana, and according to Dr. Ramsammy, the Health Ministry is still in the process of procuring the equipment which will enable Guyana to test for the virus instead of sending specimens overseas.
Ministry of Health sourced a total of $8 million from its partners to establish the capacity to conduct the H1N1 testing. This is expected to be in place by the end of the year at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.
Currently, the DNA-PCR equipment that has already been procured is intended for dedicated testing, thus is regarded as a ‘dedicated platform’. The equipment can test for HPV, TB, and viral load for HIV. It was explained that the $8 million is not from the Health Ministry’s regular budget and the government is not being asked to help to source the money.
Upon the emergence of the virus, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) gave a sum of money to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help the region respond to the H1N1 virus. Recently, Minister Ramsammy also reported that the transmission of the H1N1 virus is nearing a stage where it will no longer be dependent on international contact, as is evident in some other countries.
All of the cases that have so far been detected have been linked to international contacts, but according to the Minister, Guyana is probably already in the stage where transmission will not depend on such connections.