Approximately 50% of Jamaicans believe that the threat of Monkeypox is a big deal.

Six in 10 believe that they would experience serious effects if they contracted the disease.

However, with the confirmed case count in single digits, the majority of Jamaicans don’t feel personally at risk of contracting monkeypox.

That’s one of the findings of the Nationwide Bluedot Polls conducted across the island among 1275 Jamaicans last month.

Michael Bryce has the first of our series of NNN/Bluedot poll results:

The poll found that the public’s faith in the media’s reporting and the Health Ministry’s management of Monkeypox is low. But when compared to each other, there’s more faith and trust in the Health Minister, Christopher Tufton, than the media. 35% saying they have more faith and trust in Dr. Tufton as against 29% for the media.

Nonetheless, there’s a significant 10% decline in confidence in Dr. Tufton and the Health Ministry to manage the country’s health resources wisely when compared to one year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging.

Overall, concern with contracting COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic have declined over the past year. The proportion of Jamaicans thinking they were at high risk of contracting COVID-19 has declined between 2021 and 2022 by 9% points.

And there’s a massive 45% point decline in those who were significantly more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 12 months.

In relation to the threat of Monkeypox, women are more likely to think it’s a big deal than men. This despite the vast majority of cases to date globally being among men who have sex with men. 50% of women polled think that Monkeypox is a big deal versus 43% of men.

Supporters of the governing JLP 53% were more likely to feel that Monkey pox was a big deal than supporters of the opposition PNP 47%.

67% of younger Jamaicans – Gen Zs – between 18 and 24, are more likely than others to believe that they’d experience serious effects if they contracted Monkeypox.

More than one-third of Jamaicans, 36%, say they have no faith in the media to report the potential spread of the disease fairly and accurately. Older Jamaicans, between 55 and 64 and JLP supporters are more likely to trust the media reporting.

Where the Health Minister and the Ministry of Health are concerned, just over one-third, 35%, say they trust them to wisely manage the health resources and contain the spread of Monkeypox. Older Jamaicans, women and JLP supporters are more likely to feel this way.

However, a similar proportion – 32% – express little to no faith in the Tufton-led Ministry. According to the Bluedot pollsters data suggest that this is politically influenced, with 43% of PNP supporters doubting Tufton’s competence. While 52% of JLP supporters trust him to manage the country’s health resources efficiently.

The poll was conducted in all 63 constituencies between August 12 and 25. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.