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Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester has said the extension of mosquito fogging to areas outside of the malaria-affected zone, was part of phase two of the malaria eradication programme and was not to be misconstrued as a spreading of the disease.
Addressing journalists at yesterday’s (Dec.18) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, the Medical Officer said the move was preventative rather than reactive.
“Phase two means that we have been expanding outside of the one and a half mile radius, so fogging has been taking place in areas such as Duhaney Park, from Cross Roads down [to the Waterfront], Tom Redcam and so on, so it is a much wider span that is being done,” she informed.
She pointed out that the Ministry’s health team was using scientific methods such as the flight range of the mosquitoes, to determine areas that warranted fogging.
“We are using the cases as a marker and measuring, from those cases, the radius, and being pre-emptive to treat those areas [with fogging],” she outlined.
In the meantime, she informed that “phase one was quiet successful in terms of the fogging and the identification of breeding sites and destroying them, so we are, at the moment, ensuring that the human landing is minimal or zero,” said Dr. Campbell-Forrester.
Human landing refers to the likelihood of someone being bitten by the anopheles mosquito, the common vector for the malaria-causing plasmodium parasite.The Ministry has advised that mass outdoor gatherings in the affected areas, should be postponed until further notice.