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‘Public Health Crisis’

Abaco Destroyed Home

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said The Bahamas is in the midst of a “public health crisis”. 

Dr. Sands made this comment on Sunday during Love 97’s Jones and Company radio talk show.  The comment also came following Hurricane Dorian’s catastrophic and historic landfall on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. 

From a medical perspective, Dr. Sands explained that hurricane relief comes in three phases.

The first phase, he said, involves treating injuries like broken bones, lacerations, amputations and head injuries. 

“Indeed, we have seen all of them. As a matter of fact, we’ve evacuated more than 100 people in New Providence for treatment,” Dr. Sands said. 

“We have treated more than 30 lacerations in the last day or two in Marsh Harbour.”

He explained that the second phase is more troubling considering the dead animals and human beings intermingling with septic tank.

The worry then is the contamination of running water and as Pan American Health Organization representative in The Bahamas Dr. Esther De Gourville pointed out, this can lead to a number of diarrheal diseases and other illnesses.

“If this is not brought under control, the next phase is going to be even worse than the first,” Dr. Sands said.

“If we start to see diseases like cholera and other diseases, we have a massive problem on our hands.”

Health officials have repeatedly stressed the need for those in hurricane ravaged areas to only drink and use safe water and to practice good hygiene in order to prevent water-borne diseases. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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