GREAT BAY – St. Maarten should consider this a near miss,” Minister Lee (Public Health) said yesterday about the birth of a baby with microcephaly at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The child was born to a non-resident, the minister said, adding that otherwise the ministry guards the privacy of patents carefully.
“There are multiple possible causes for microcephaly,” the minister said. “Zika is just one of them. The exact cause had not been established yet.”
Reflecting on the fact that the baby was born to a non-resident, the minister added, “It could just as easily have been a resident. And when I look around I see that we are not winning the war on mosquitoes.”
The minister showed pictures he took while walking his dog after work in Oyster Pond. The images show debris dumped alongside the public road; one of the items photographed is a toilet.
“That’s a perfect mosquito breeding place,” Minister Lee said. “If we are not pro-active, we are putting ourselves at risk. This is not something the government can control.”
Vromi-Minister Christophe Emmanuel reacted later to the photos, noting that the debris does not fit in a normal car and that residents must have used a truck to move it. “Take it to the dump,” he urged, not for the first time. “We will control these things and you will get caught.”