KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has reiterated its call for the Government to test all pregnant women in light of the threat of the Zika virus and the possibility of them having babies with microcephaly.
The PNP said it is extremely concerned that microcephaly and Guillian-Barre, both potential fallouts from the Zika virus, have the potential of increasing the population of people with disabilities in the country. And that both conditions will serve to burden the resources of the country to deal with the medical and social repercussions of these illnesses.
Microcephaly causes babies to be born with smaller than usual heads and serious brain and neurological disorders. It results in these babies developing long-term permanent disabilities while Guillian- Barre is a condition that causes the immune system to attack the nervous system and can lead to permanent disability.
The Ministry of Health has indicated that up to two million Jamaicans are likely to contract the Zika virus based on World Health Organization estimates. There are approximately 40,000 pregnancies in the country annually. (Jamaica Observer)