Health Ministry to Intensify Vector Control Programmes

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley (centre), having a light exchange with (from left) Mayor of Kingston, Senator, Dr. Angela Brown Burke and General Manager, Caribbean Cement Company, Alejandro Vares, prior to the launch of a partnership among the Ministry of Health, Caribbean Cement Company Limited and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), at the Spanish Court Hotel, in New Kingston, today (Jan. 19). The initiative will see Caribbean Cement providing $2 to employ 100 persons to carry out vector control activities in identified areas across Kingston and St. Andrew. The Ministry of Health will train the individuals, while the KSAC will supervise them.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, says the Ministry will be intensifying its vector control programmes, while ensuring that there is adequate supply of pharmaceuticals, among other necessities needed for the possible introduction of the Zika Virus (ZikV).
  • Mr. Dalley said that while mosquitoes are all across the island, several parishes register the highest indices of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. These include: Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon and Westmoreland.
  • Symptoms of ZikV include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, says the Ministry will be intensifying its vector control programmes, while ensuring that there is adequate supply of pharmaceuticals, among other necessities needed for the possible introduction of the Zika Virus (ZikV).

“We will make sure we have all the (paracetamol)  in stock. We have had  good support for pharmaceuticals from the Issa Trust Foundation…and we are hoping that other purchases will be made by the Government of Jamaica,” he said.

ZikV is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is found in and around areas where people live, work and play.

Speaking at the launch of a partnership among the Ministry of Health, Caribbean Cement Company Limited and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, today (January 19), the Minister urged Jamaicans to do their part in taking the necessary measures to eradicate mosquito breeding sites around their homes and communities and prepare themselves for the likely introduction of the virus.

“There is no way that we alone from the public purse can combat the spread of this mosquito and therefore every single church, every school administrator, every worksite, every factory, everywhere  that people are gathered, every family must understand that this Zika Virus is a threat to the public health of Jamaica,” he said.

Mr. Dalley said that while mosquitoes are all across the island, several parishes register the highest indices of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. These include: Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon and Westmoreland.

Under the partnership, an additional 100 vector control workers will be deployed in several communities in the corporate area.

The partnership forms part of the country’s Zika Virus (ZikV) Preparedness and Response that is currently being carried out across the island and will see Caribbean Cement Company Limited spending $2 million towards the venture.

Horace 2
Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley (left), in discussion with General Manager, Caribbean Cement Company, Alejandro Vares, prior to the launch of a partnership among the Ministry of Health, Caribbean Cement Company Limited and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, today (January 19). The initiative will see Caribbean Cement providing $2 to employ 100 persons to carry out vector control activities in identified areas across Kingston and St. Andrew. The Ministry will train the individuals, while the KSAC will supervise them.

Through the partnership, the Ministry of Health will train the vector control workers who will undertake community interventions in communities closest to the company’s plant and other operations from Bull Bay to Bayshore to Rockfort. The workers will be supervised by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Lauding the partnership, Mr. Dalley said it is a good example of Carib Cement demonstrating their corporate responsibility in a bid to protect communities that are close to its  plant.

“This is the first collaboration and cooperation with a private sector group, and we are happy that you (Carib Cement) are the first to come on board,” he said.

The Minister urged the vector control workers to do their best under the guidance and instructions that they will receive from the Ministry and the KSAC.

For his part, General Manager, Carib Cement Company Limited, Alejandro Vares,  said a proactive approach is being undertaken to minimise the impact of the virus on the society.

Symptoms of ZikV include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

Seventeen countries in the Americas have confirmed the outbreak of ZikV. These are Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Equador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

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