Health Ministry to Provide Support for National Hurricane Clean-Up Project


The Ministry of Health and Environment is among several entities that will be providing support for the National Hurricane Clean-up Project on September 29 and 30.
“Our key responsibility is to work with the other agencies and departments of government to ensure that we have a smooth implementation of the initiative,” Director of the Environmental Health Unit in the Ministry of Health, Peter Knight told JIS News. He said the health departments across the island would be instrumental in the clean-up process, as they were in a position to assist in the process by identifying the various areas that should be cleaned.
“The areas that we will assist in identifying will certainly be the areas that were affected by Hurricane Dean, but there are also other areas that are poorly sanitized that we know are in need of interventions and clean-up,” he pointed out.
“Remember, if we have areas that are holding domestic garbage that serve as a reservoir for mosquito breeding.we want to ensure that those areas are cleaned up over the two-day period,” Mr. Knight noted, and added that the health departments would be able to identify some locations in the parishes.
The Director also stated that the Ministry would be pursuing a complementary programme that would involve a survey to determine the aedes aegypti mosquito index. The aedes aegypti mosquito transmits dengue fever.
This will be in addition to carrying out a rat control intervention in certain high risk areas.
“That is the beauty of the National Clean-Up exercise,” Mr. Knight explained, “because part of our problem that we would have to treat with regarding implementation, would have been corrected, in that we would, over the two-day exercise, be removing mounds of solid waste, debris and so on. So, it would make it easier for the Ministry of Health and Environment to implement the programme that we are thinking of.”
As it stands now, the Ministry has been in consultation with the Pan- American Health Organisation (PAHO) in order to implement the programme. “I am confident that Dr. Ernest Pate [PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica] is going to ensure that the project we presented is going to be implemented,” he informed.
The Director said that once the logistics have been worked out, the programme should start in the next two weeks.
The National Clean-up project was announced by Prime Minister Bruce Golding at his inauguration on September 11, and is part of the recovery response, following the passage of Hurricane Dean on August 19.

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