‘Malaria among Haitian footballers’
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government yesterday said that confirmation of malaria among members of the Haitian football team forced it to recommend that the footballers from the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country withdraw from the CONCACAF tournament now underway here.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was concerned about the “serious misunderstandings” arising from the events that led to the team’s withdrawal.
“The Government deeply regrets the circumstances that necessitated the withdrawal of the Haitian team from the CONCACAF tournament. We appreciate the disappointment that this has caused. However, the decision was unavoidable and necessary in order to safeguard public health,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
It said that 11 days after the Haitians arrived here, members of the team tried to obtain medication from a local pharmacy for the treatment of the symptoms related to malaria.
“This was unsuccessful as the pre scri ption tendered which was issued by the team’s medical doctor did not have the required registration number,” the statement said, noting that the team on its arrival here on February 3, had been interviewed by public health personnel and provided with Health Alert Cards containing information to assist in detecting the signs and symptoms of communicable diseases of international significance and instructions as to how to obtain medical assistance in the event of illness.
The statement said that enquiries by local health officials revealed that six members of the contingent were experiencing feverand malaise, one of the early symptoms of malaria. (CMC)