Jamaica Regains Malaria Free Status


The Ministry of Health and Environment is reporting that Jamaica has once again regained its malaria free status, as there has been no confirmed case of malaria for the past three months.
The last reported case occurred on June 19 and as a consequence, persons travelling to Jamaica are no longer required to take anti-malaria prophylaxis as was recommended by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States of America as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, said the disease had impacted negatively on Jamaica, as there was a travel health advisory issued, cautioning visitors to the island.
“It affected and impacted negatively on our tourism product and as a consequence of that, on our economy, and so the Ministry of Health and its team must be congratulated on the work done to contain this disease,” he said at a meeting with staff of the environment unit of the Ministry on Trevennion Park Road in Kingston, today (September 20).
Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller further told JIS News that the three-month period had been critical, as it indicated that the Ministry had “broken the back” of the disease, by interrupting the transmission through its various strategies, which included active searches and a beefed up vector control programme.
In the meantime, Minister Spencer commented on the current outbreak of dengue fever, stating that there were confirmed cases in the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon and Kingston.
“The team [Ministry] is putting together a method and a strategy to arrest dengue,” he informed, adding that he expected the planned activities to have an impact.
In terms of plans to address the concerns of fly and mosquito infestation in the parish of Clarendon, specifically in Lionel Town, Mitchell Town and Rocky Point, among other areas, the Minister said that over the last couple of days, the Ministry had embarked on a series of measures, including fogging, to contain and eventually eradicate the problem.

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