Listening to the news at midday today, I heard a report of an update given by Minister of Health Christopher Tufton about the current situation with the zika virus here in Jamaica. As the news report was read, I madly tried to scribble down the figures being given…number of reported, suspected and confirmed cases, etc. I was particularly interested in the number of pregnant women reported with suspected cases of zika. I thought I heard 88, and began to comb the news sites online and on social media to see if I could track down the figure. No luck. I was about to send Minister Tufton a tweet or to call Power 106 to see if I could speak with someone in their news room.
And then I decided to check the Ministry of Health website, though I had little hope of finding any current figures there, based on past experience.
Eureka! Look what I found! A downloadable, written document entitled “Zika update as at June 25, 2016“, posted on the website today, July 5, 2016! Hallelujah!
Seriously though, this is a significant development in keeping the public informed, that on the same day the Minister gives an update to the media, a document containing the figures is posted on the MOH website. I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a trend.
The full document (3 pages long) is available on the website and I have included it here: MOH Zika-update-of-as-at-June-25
Of particular note are the general update regarding number of cases, with 24 confirmed cases as of June 25, 2016:
and the number of pregnant women with suspected cases of zika:
Providing reliable, easily accessible official information to the public on a regular basis is essential during a public health situation such as this.