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The Ministry of Health yesterday (January 10), received a cheque valued at US$100,000 (J$6.18 million) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to aid in its fight against malaria.
This sum is the first of two payments and, will go towards the purchasing of equipment to assist with fogging and spraying to eliminate the anopheles mosquito that spreads the disease.
The presentation was made at the Ministry in downtown Kingston by Karen Turner, Mission Director for the USAID in Jamaica.
Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, said the Ministry was very grateful to the USAID for the contribution.
“It is the first time we have been presented with any money. We have been fighting on our own from the Ministry’s budget and what has been provided with the extra budgetary support from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, through Cabinet’s approval,” he said.
Mr. Dalley informed that there are currently 209 confirmed cases of the disease, with 25 confirmed since the start of the year. He added that of the 209 confirmed cases, 187 persons have been treated for the disease.
The areas in Kingston affected by the malaria disease include Denham Town, Tivoli Gardens, Trench Town and Delacree Park. Nine cases have been detected in St. Catherine and one in Clarendon.
In her remarks, Miss Turner lauded the Ministry for its effort in fighting the disease.
The USAID, on behalf of the United States Government, is really pleased to be able to make this initial contribution of around US$100,000. There will be another contribution of another US$100,000 at the request of the Ministry,” she pointed out.
“I want to compliment the Ministry on its excellent response to the malaria outbreak and the way that it has been on top of the problem. I think that the response of the Ministry to the issue is a reflection of its understanding of the seriousness of the problem, in light of the impact on its own citizens,” Miss Turner said.