Recent data from the National Epidemiology Unit indicate that the dengue outbreak in the country has officially ended.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2020/2021 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 7.
Dr. Tufton said over the last four months, there have been below threshold numbers, with 37 reported cases in March, two in April, eight in May and two in June.
“The outbreak ending means that we are no longer having cases of dengue above the threshold,” he explained.
“It has been a long struggle, but the Government has given support, the public health team has worked, the infrastructure has responded and we can say Jamaicans are safer in regard to dengue,” the Minister added.
Jamaica has been experiencing the dengue outbreak since January 2019.
The Minister reminded persons that the Aedes agypti mosquito, which transmits the disease, is endemic to Jamaica, and urged members of the public to remain vigilant in their activities to safeguard against future outbreaks.
“What we need to do is to continue to practise personal responsibility, get rid of breeding sites, informing yourself of what to do to protect yourself; all of that is going to be critical,” Dr. Tufton emphasised.
The Ministry has put in place several measures to minimise the impact of vector-borne diseases.
Among these is the launch of a communication and behaviour change campaign to reinforce the principle of personal responsibility for health, and the employment of more than 1,000 vector-control workers.
Additionally, the Government has spent more than $289 million to increase the number of dedicated vector-control vehicles by 71 per cent, up from 25 to 85.
The Ministry also collaborates with the Municipal Corporations and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) for the removal of bulky waste that are breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.