Saint Lucia wants to facilitate in-country testing for monkeypox at the Ezra Long Laboratory at the OKEU Hospital.
Currently, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) facilitates testing for countries in the region.
Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs Minister Moses Jn Baptiste announced the in-country testing plan in an address to parliament on Tuesday.
He also spoke about establishing an isolation and treatment ward at the Respiratory Hospital, formerly Victoria Hospital, and regular consultations with regional and international public health agencies.
And while stressing that this country has not recorded any monkeypox cases, the Minister said Saint Lucia is monitoring the disease and preparing to manage cases should they occur.
He said the Ministry of Health had established public education, health care worker training, a surveillance system, and testing capacity with CARPHA and was working on facilitating local testing.
And Jn Baptiste explained that the Ministry of Health would continue strengthening care levels to manage monkeypox cases if detected in Saint Lucia.
In addition, he advised all Saint Lucians to be very vigilant.
The Minister described monkeypox, dengue, and COVID-19 as ‘three major health threats’ that the Ministry of Health is monitoring.
“Actions to mitigate the negative health impacts of the threats continue in some areas and new measures are being initiated to prepare for new emerging threats,” he explained.