JIS News

The Ministry of Health is revising the national vector control policy in a bid to strengthen its regulatory framework.
Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, made the disclosure at this morning’s (May 8) professional pest control workshop and the launch of a new insecticide, IMaxxpro, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.
He noted that in 2004, the Pesticide Amended Regulations made provision for special certification in termite and public health pest control and to date, 109 pesticide control operators (PCOs) have been trained and certified.
“This certification makes provision for specialized termites and vector control.some builders and contractors might find this certification useful,” he stated.
Mr. Dalley noted that the workshop, hosted by the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) in collaboration with Agro Grace and its principal, Univar USA, was in keeping with the Ministry’s policy of fostering public/private partnerships.
“In fact, through this (partnership) mechanism, the Ministry has been pursuing joined-up activities with partners in the sector to strengthen and improve our public health vector control activities,” he informed. The Minister noted that some initiatives being pursued by way of public/private partnerships include joint messages in public awareness.
Turning to the advantages of IMaxxpro, Minister Dalley said it will reduce the possibility of ground water pollution “something that we consider strongly when considering the registration of pesticides in Jamaica.”
He pointed out that there is increased demand in Jamaica for termiticides and IMaxxpro and Univar were doing a great job of making a wider range of products available to PCOs. Meanwhile, the Minister acknowledged the PCA’s role in regulating and restricting the importation and use of insecticide, informing that 142 farm stores have been registered by the Authority to sell restricted pesticides.
“Agro Grace, being the largest distributor of pesticides in Jamaica, has a major responsibility to ensure that certain products are only made available to certified PCOs. Failure to adhere is a serious public health breach both on the part of the seller and the buyer,” he stated.
In addition, he noted that for the period April 2005 to March 2006, 2,512,777 kilograms of pesticide valued at US$11.3 million, were imported. “This represents a six per cent decrease in comparison to the previous year where there were 2,686,278 kilograms of pesticide valued at US$12.5 million,” he told the gathering of PCO’s, manufacturers, farm store operators, and public health officers. Meanwhile, Retail and Marketing Manager for Agro Grace, Olive Downer Walsh, pointed out that termite management is not to be taken lightly, as the average person will have termites in their building and be unaware of the fact.
“This is the pest that discreetly and can rapidly be most destructive to your structure. Being in a zone where we are plagued with hurricanes and so on, sometimes we are not even aware that it is not so much the wind speed, but the damage that was going on quietly, that contribute to the devastation that we have,” she noted.
The aim of the workshop was to keep industry players updated in order to better serve the sector.

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