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  • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is urging Jamaicans to remain vigilant in the fight against dengue.
  • He made the appeal during a press briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on February 5, where he gave an update on the National Vector Control Programme.
  • Dr. Tufton said that the Ministry continues to strengthen the programme, with 60 new motor vehicles added recently, valued at some $400 million. He informed that 37 of them are equipped with mounted foggers.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is urging Jamaicans to remain vigilant in the fight against dengue.

He made the appeal during a press briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on February 5, where he gave an update on the National Vector Control Programme.

Dr. Tufton said that the Ministry continues to strengthen the programme, with 60 new motor vehicles added recently, valued at some $400 million. He informed that 37 of them are equipped with mounted foggers.

“The mounted foggers are significantly more efficient than the handheld ones. They cover a lot more communities, they are a lot safer to operate in terms of the workers… so we should have no downtime,” he noted.

“So, we expect that as it relates to addressing the mature mosquito threat, because that’s what the fogging does, the country is well equipped to address in a more efficient way that threat, and we hope to see the results of that over time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton said he was pleased with the results of the recent national dengue clean-up effort, which was led by the Labour Day Secretariat.

“There was a significant clean-up across the country, of solid waste in particular. There was sensitisation because of the house-to-house walks, and I think the country will be better for it,” he said.

“We are hoping that the additional methods, the consistency of the methods, the engaging of the communities, will see us having… better results on the dengue challenge but we are not going to be complacent,” he said.

Dr. Tufton said there were 10,331 suspected, presumed or confirmed dengue cases between January 1, 2018 and January 31 this year.

Of that number, there were 1,069 cases with date of onset in 2018, with 9,159 in 2019 and 103 this year.

Dr. Tufton said that over the period, there were 2,325 hospitalisations for suspected, presumed or confirmed cases of dengue, with 85 deaths – 17 in 2018; 67 in 2019; and one this year.

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