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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON2306
2005-10-06 19:43:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

JAMAICA - ADDRESSING THE THREAT OF AVIAN INFLUENZA

Tags:   TBIO  KSCA  EAGR  ECON  PREL  SOCI  JM  WHO 
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						UNCLAS KINGSTON 002306 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CAR (BENT); USAID FOR DAN RILEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KSCA EAGR ECON PREL SOCI JM WHO
SUBJECT: JAMAICA - ADDRESSING THE THREAT OF AVIAN INFLUENZA

REF: A. KINGSTON 2148

B. STATE 153802

C. STATE 175585

UNCLAS KINGSTON 002306

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CAR (BENT); USAID FOR DAN RILEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KSCA EAGR ECON PREL SOCI JM WHO
SUBJECT: JAMAICA - ADDRESSING THE THREAT OF AVIAN INFLUENZA

REF: A. KINGSTON 2148

B. STATE 153802

C. STATE 175585


1. On September 27, Pol/Econ Chief, accompanied by USAID
Missof, met with Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Grace
Allen-Young and Dr. Lynette Peters, MOH Veterinary Services
Director, to discuss the state of Jamaica's preparations to
confront any outbreak of avian influenza on the island. P/E
Chief began by relating recent Embassy outreach to the
Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Ministries (Ref A), providing
Young and Peters with a copy of Ref B and Ref C points for
discussion.


2. Allen-Young said that MOH had already begun internal
review of a draft avian influenza action plan prepared by
Peters and by Dr. Barrington Wint, MOH Chief Medical Officer,
that included an inspection procedures for the tourism sector
and poultry farmers. Allen Young said she expected that the
plan would be finalized by the end of October, and that she
would share it with the USG at that time. She said that the
Asian SARS outbreak had galvanized the GOJ and the national
health sector - particularly, she said, once the GOJ learned
that more Chinese, and Chinese-Jamaicans, traveled between
China and Jamaica than had previously been realized. MOH
maintains a Public Health nurse at both Kingston's Norman
Manley International Airport and at Montego Bay's Sangster
International Airport, she said.


3. Procedures and preparations begun at that time are being
adapted to deal with avian influenza. Allen Young emphasized
that MOH maintains good relations with the U.S. Center for
Disease Control (CDC), and with the Caribbean Regional
Epidemiological Center (CAREC), and indicated that they would
continue to consult closely with CDC and CAREC regarding
avian influenza. She noted that the types of medicines
needed to treat avian influenza outbreak would likely be more
readily available in the U.S. and in other developed
countries, adding that that Jamaica and other CARICOM
countries were concerned that in a health crisis, smaller
countries could find their orders for medical supplies
pre-empted by larger requests from elsewhere, with
potentially lethal consequences in Jamaica or the Caribbean.


4. Noting the prevalence of mixed farming in Jamaica, and the
fact that many poorer Jamaicans live in close proximity to
chickens, ducks, swine, and other animals, Dr. Peters said
that the MOH is especially attuned to the risk of avian
influenza. She said that the GOJ has established a Working
Group consisting of representatives of MOH, Agriculture, and
major poultry producers, to consider health-related avian
issues.


5. Allen Young identified Dr. Barrington Wint, Chief Medical
Officer, MOH, is the GOJ's senior POC on avian influenza
issues.
ROBINSON