Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 13, 2018 (SKNIS): Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps, while speaking in support of The Appropriation (2019) Bill, 2018, on December 13, shared some of the good news taking place in the health sector in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

She announced that for 2018 there has only been one confirmed case of vector borne disease in the Federation due to the increased traction of the vector control and prevention programme.

“Of course we have had no evidence in our system of the presence of ZIKA. 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,” said Minister Phipps.

The minister urged persons to follow the instructions put out by the Department of Environmental Health with respect to fogging and to take the necessary measures to ensure that their households are not unintentionally becoming breeding grounds for mosquitos.

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 and at the same time working towards EMTCT, which is taking the evaluation a step further with the elimination of hepatitis B and chagas disease,” she added.

Minister Phipps reported that 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 that 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 would have seen and treated over 270 patients. It tells us that there was definitely a need for that service,” Minister Phipps said.