Grenada Preparing for Monkeypox From Covid Experience

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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shawn Charles, says the lessons learnt during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will put the healthcare system in Grenada 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.

He said that from the Ministry of Health’s perspective, a sensitization programme has started so that people are aware of the disease, how it is spread, and what you can do to protect one’s self

“We are also preparing our systems, so we have made preparations for testing to be done here because just a few weeks ago may be very few countries in the world could detect Monkeypox now we are rapidly getting our system together,” the CMO said on the Government Information Service (GIS) The Next Chapter television programme on Monday.

“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.

“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 advance stage of preparation,” said Dr Charles, who 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,” Dr Charles said, adding 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, washing, and regular sanitising of hands.

Grenada recently disclosed that three suspected cases of the Monkeypox virus had all tested negative after the samples were sent to the United States-based Centres for Disease Control and the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency.

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