Monday, 10 November 2014

Jamaicans must safely medicate regarding Chikungunya Virus

As more and more Jamaicans continue to be infected and impacted by the chikungunya virus the news emerging from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not very encouraging.
According to the Center for Disease Control the chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean will continue to spread with no sign of slowing down. With all fourteen parishes now reporting cases of this painful and debilitating mosquito borne disease Jamaicans from all section of the society have been turning to non traditional forms of medical care.
As the medical fraternity struggles to arrive at a vaccine or cure for the chikungunya virus infection many Jamaicans have sought relief from those who proclaim themselves as herbalists.
The relapse of chikungunya virus is as severe or in some instances more severe than being first infected.  The sad reality is that many Jamaicans risk drug poisoning since a lot of these natural herbs have properties which may pose serious problems to those patients who are also taking prescription drugs.
For the most part the nutraceutical industry is unregulated, and as such just about anyone can put a drug on the market making unbelievable claims as a cure all for all ailments.
Unlike the United States of America, which has a robust oversight body in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Jamaica does not currently have such an oversight body which regulates the entry of drugs on the market. The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by regulating human and animal drugs, biologics for example, vaccines and cellular and gene therapies), medical devices, food and animal feed, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
As humans we are at our most vulnerable whenever we become ill. When one is sick and constantly in pain one is likely to try just about anything that comes along offering relief.  In recent times a lot of claims have been made by various manufacturers of these wonder drugs. The newest wonder drug on the market is Colloidal Silver “miracle water” which many Jamaicans have turned to in the hopes of getting relief from pain associated with the chikungunya virus.
The Jamaican government has a responsibility to the public to ensure the all drugs sold in public spaces adhere to strict guidelines. The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) have estimated that more than 13 million man hours have been lost to the chikungunya virus resulting in economic losses of more than $6billion as workers continue to stay off the job while recovering. A healthy workforce is necessary in order to solidify gains made from the sacrifices of the average Jamaican.    
Wayne Campbell