Source: Trial Site News
Recently TrialSite updated the world that Jamaica was headed toward a very hard period of this pandemic. That’s now happening with the Delta variant circulating the island. At least a third of the population here polls that they won’t take a vaccine and the supplies to this poor nation, like many other ones, evidence health inequity at work. Recently the Health Minister authorized ivermectin to enter the country for off-label use.
However because Christopher Tufton follows the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, he won’t allow ivermectin use in public hospitals such as the one here.
TrialSite’s network of health care professionals sent us a video today as to what one of these hospitals looks like now with the crisis raging. Meanwhile, the shipment of ivermectin authorized for possible “off-label” use is in delay due to logistics which means that in a nation with less than 5% fully vaccinated and less than 10% even partially vaccinated; no means of early care leads to an unfolding worsening of the health crisis.
It isn’t pretty as care is in short supply here. Moreover while vaccine distribution has been slow to make it to this Caribbean island, the ivermectin supply approved by authorities here is also in delay TrialSite’s contacts reports, due to logistics.
Various health authorities are scrambling here. As reported in the Jamaica Observer hospitals across regions are at full capacity. In Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James and several others, full capacity is the norm declared the Western Regional Health Authority. The Jamaica Gleaner reports donations are coming in such as 48 hospital beds from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives to support the expansion of COVID-19 wards. A donation worth $11.3 million went to Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness.
Jamaica needs help, like a lot of other places around the world. While rich nations will now expand their vaccination programs to a third booster, many poor nations have barely vaccinated 10% of their populations. In Jamaica less than 5% have received both doses and less than 10% have received even one dose. A third of the population is opposed to vaccination and other early treatments must be accelerated.
Risk and benefit analysis suggests if a drug with a well-established, safe profile can help then then why wouldn’t such a drug be used? TrialSite recently reported on the comments of a Reggae star Tanya Stephens who recently announced via Instagram:
“I need to take something to protect others. But taking it won’t stop me getting or giving the malady to the others I’m supposed to be doing it for. It will reduce my symptoms (something the pill they’re fighting has constantly done) which, in essence, means this is supposedly only of real benefit to me, but I don’t get to decide on an alternative.”
While she didn’t explicitly call out ivermectin, that’s what she was referring to. She went on intensifying her critique of the governing class there:
“Meanwhile, every mention of any proven alternative and research results which counter the narrative being sold is censored and the trial being pushed is slowly becoming mandatory as per demand for proof of it to gain access to regulatory human activities, and that info is also being censored.”
TrialSite emphasizes that transcending this pandemic necessitates compassion locally and globally. Effective vaccination is absolutely key to a comprehensive, flexible, and proactive program driven by risk, equity and collaboration. So is early stage treatments and other measures that protect a population from transmission where and when possible.
But care providers in the trenches have been saying since day one that the key to mitigate damage in fact is early treatment. After all many of the world’s nations are heavily vaccinated yet Delta-driven surges occur anyway, often reinfecting the vaccinated and turning them into vectors to infect others.
The world’s governing structures have embraced a more rigid, top down, vaccination-centric approach—its that or nothing. That doesn’t work in the real world, especially in poorer nations in a highly coin-operated market system.
The governing classes, public health authorities and health systems should open up, establish more networked assistance and support, and embrace where and when possible care for those such as we are seeing in this Jamaican hospital.