JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, says the Ministry will be hiring and training 1,000 young people as vector control workers, who will go into communities, and along with the Ministry’s vector control teams, identify mosquito breeding sites and destroy them.
  • He also charged senior health officials in the Ministry to mobilise the public in preparation for the Zika virus (ZikV), if it is introduced into the country.
  • The Minister said the Ministry must partner with civil society, the private sector, community groups and the church in ensuring that there is consistent communication to the public in engaging persons to play their part in destroying mosquito breeding sites.

Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, says the Ministry will be hiring and training 1,000 young people as vector control workers, who will go into communities, and along with the Ministry’s vector control teams, identify mosquito breeding sites and destroy them.

He also charged senior health officials in the Ministry to mobilise the public in preparation for the Zika virus (ZikV), if it is introduced into the country.

The Minister said the Ministry must partner with civil society, the private sector, community groups and the church in ensuring that there is consistent communication to the public in engaging persons to play their part in destroying mosquito breeding sites.

Mr. Dalley was addressing senior health staff from the health regions islandwide, at a National Training Seminar to prepare the health sector for the Zika virus, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, on Thursday, December 3.

“We want to have every single hand on deck to protect our population. We are going to do everything, community by community, parish by parish to ensure that we try our very best to eliminate the mosquito, to identify the virus if it comes and make sure that we do our part to minimise the impact on our population, our economy and our people,” the Minister emphasised.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dalley said he has recognised a need for the national health team to be re-motivated and recommitted in its delivery of health services to the Jamaican people.

“In doing so, there must be at all levels of the institutions of health, accountability and people taking responsibility for the task they are assigned. There has to be, throughout the regions, throughout the parishes and throughout the medical and administrative leadership, a close connection with the Ministry for direction, advice and evaluation,” he argued.

He said that for the Ministry to carry out its responsibility of keeping the public informed on the state of health in the country, there must be coordination among all regions and health institutions.

For her part, Country Representative of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Noreen Jack, congratulated the Ministry for the proactive step to prepare the sector and the country for the Zika virus.

She said the virus is now in nine countries in the Americas, including one Caribbean country, Suriname, as well as in countries in Central America. It is also in Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Chile and Venezuela.

The Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms include severe fever, joint and muscle pains, headaches, rashes and conjunctivitis. These symptoms usually appear within three to 12 days following a bite.

Data from the WHO indicate that vector-borne diseases account for 17 per cent of all infectious diseases, causing more than one million deaths annually.

Skip to content