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JIS News

The Ministry of Health has commenced Phase Two of the vector control programme in order to further stem the flare-up in malaria cases in the island.
Phase two involves field inspectors revisiting and re-treating the 16 confirmed breeding sites in sections the capital Kingston for the anopheles mosquito.
Speaking to JIS News, Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester said that the new phase started this week with the completion of the first stage, which involved the treatment of sites, among other activities, within the affected areas and also throughout all parishes.
“Phase One has been fairly successful and we have been doing what we call human landing counts, which means that there are persons who go out at the time when mosquitoes will bite and we observe how many mosquitoes are landing on them, because that gives us an idea as to how effective our programme is,” she noted.
“In the affected areas, we really have not been observing any landing of the anopheles mosquito,” Dr. Campbell-Forrester added.
Elaborating on overall vector control operations, the Acting CMO said that it involved treatment and destruction of the affected areas, but also the fogging that knocks down the adult mosquitoes. “We are also trying to do weekly cycles in keeping with the lifecycle of the mosquitoes,” the Acting CMO informed.
Dr. Campbell-Forrester also disclosed that the Health Ministry had asked Parish Health officials to identify the breeding sites and to also re-map them.
“We realise that we will get additional breeding sites, because there are new areas where water will collect and we are also asking the parishes to treat those sites, destroy them and also fog in those high risk areas,” she said.
Meanwhile, the CMO assured that the Ministry officials were in contact with beekeepers, who have expressed their concern about the vector control programme affecting their livelihood.
“We have been in contact with them as they were very pro-active in writing to us. We have been giving them advice as to how to protect their bees and I think this is so important, especially when we have just heard that they have had a big order for honey,” she informed.