Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– There has only been one confirmed case of vector-borne disease in 2018, Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps, said while speaking to support The Appropriation (2019) Bill, 2018.

“Of course we have had no evidence in our system of the presence of ZIKA,” Minister Phipps said. “To be precise, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed St. Kitts and Nevis of being ZIKA-free since we would have last recorded the ZIKA case back in 2016.”

The minister urged people to follow Department of Environmental Health instructions and take the necessary measures to ensure their households are not unintentionally becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

She highlighted that the Federation is still celebrating its one-year anniversary after St. Kitts and Nevis was successful in the Elimination of Mother-to-child transfer (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis.

“We are working assiduously to continue on that trend to maintain our status,” Phipps said. “At the same time we are working towards EMTCT, which is taking the evaluation a step further with the elimination of hepatitis B and chagas disease.”

She said the pilot programme, which began in July with the introduction of a district medical office clinic at the Conaree Health Centre, has proven to be very successful. She said the pilot programme was designed to service residents in the surrounding area who may not be able to easily access the Newtown and St. Peter’s Health Centre.

“I am happy to report from the data from Dr. Maria Warner, the specialist who runs that centre on a part-time basis, has recorded that between the opening and within the last week she has seen and treated over 270 patients,” Phipps said. “It tells us that there was definitely a need for that service.”