In approximately two days, Barbados will have a plan to address the impending danger of life-threatening heat waves, currently facing the region, promised Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel, Jeffrey Bostic.
He made the commitment on the heels of a report by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) which warned that people living in the Caribbean run the risk of suffering from heat stroke and even death due to an ongoing global heat wave.
Admitting his Ministry had not discussed the issue prior to the report, Bostic promised it would be made priority in the coming days.
“I am going to meet with my technical team tomorrow so that we can look at it and we will have to plan exactly how we are going to respond to that but I cannot say at this point in time because it is not something we had discussed prior to the release of that report.
“I can assure you that in a day or two, we are going to have a response, because we must,” said the health Minister, who was addressing members of the media during the opening of Pharmacy Week at the Barbados Defence Force’s headquarters.
In its report, PAHO indicated the heat wave is expected to worsen in July and August and warned of drought-induced stress, forest fires and harmful effects on human health as a result.
It recommended that health officials and meteorological agencies in affected regions work closely to implement strategies which could minimize the “adverse effects or heat waves” in the interest of saving lives.
According to PAHO, people with chronic diseases, older people and children are at greater risk of complications and death but ultimately depend on each person’s ability to adapt. (KS)