JIS News

The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing its ban on mass gatherings in the parishes of St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, in the wake of the malaria outbreak.
Although the ban will still stand for events in the affected areas, Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester said that a review was necessary, given the plethora of events organised for the duration of the festive season.
“One of the interesting findings is that we did not realise that so many events take place over this period,” she said today (December 19), at the JIS weekly ‘Think Tank’.
Turning to the level of adherence to the ban, the Acting CMO said that persons were checking with the public health departments, seeking advice before holding events.
Promoters of events, she said, are encouraged to continue checking with the health departments in the affected parishes, in order to ensure that they are properly guided or permitted to hold an event.
Dr. Campbell-Forrester again stressed that the public should be mindful of wearing appropriate clothing during the outbreak.
“Mosquitoes bite the exposed parts of the body.so wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and light coloured clothes as mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing,” she reminded.
Persons are also being encouraged to use insect repellents containing the compound, DEET. “It is advisable that persons revisit their night time activities, since the mosquitoes attack at night,” she noted.
In the meantime, Dr. Campbell-Forrester said that the Ministry was continuing to work assiduously in downtown markets, especially in the ever popular, Coronation Market. “They have been doing clean-up in the market, public education and also mosquito control work at this market,” she disclosed.
Symptoms of malaria include intermittent fever, chills, headaches, bad feelings, such as nausea, and muscles pains and aches. Persons experiencing these symptoms should visit their doctor or nearest health facility, immediately.

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