Jamaicans Taking Zika Seriously – De La Haye

Photo: file Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De la Haye.

Story Highlights

  • Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Winston De La Haye, says communities are heeding the Zika Virus (ZikV) prevention tips and advisories and are cleaning their surroundings, including removing containers that can store water.
  • He made the comment yesterday (Feb. 20), as he hailed the large turnout for the Ministry of Health’s first national ZikV clean-up activity held in Portmore and Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
  • Scores of volunteers joined the Ministry and its partners to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites in the communities, remove bulky waste, and distribute information fliers to residents.

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Winston De La Haye, says communities are heeding the Zika Virus (ZikV) prevention tips and advisories and are cleaning their surroundings, including removing containers that can store water.

He made the comment yesterday (Feb. 20), as he hailed the large turnout for the Ministry of Health’s first national ZikV clean-up activity held in Portmore and Spanish Town, St. Catherine.

“There are many, who take it seriously; that is the kind of feeling that I am getting by interacting with persons. The fact that we have come here today has motivated (other) persons to get serious,” he said.

Old Braeton and Reed’s Pen in Portmore, and Rivoli in Spanish Town, were the focus of the clean-up activity, which was conducted under the theme: ‘Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy.’

Scores of volunteers joined the Ministry and its partners to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites in the communities, remove bulky waste, and distribute information fliers to residents.

Dr. De La Haye said the clean-up effort will continue as other communities have been identified by the Ministry as potential breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits ZikV.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott, said the day was a success in sensitising residents about ZikV. “It is going to help the citizens to understand fully that this Zika Virus is borne by a mosquito that is in and around their home,” he pointed out.

Mayor Scott said the St. Catherine Parish Council has commenced the distribution of over 500 drum covers, most of which will be given to residents of the rural sections of the parish “because they depend on rainfall and storage of water.”

“We are giving the covers free of cost to help them to protect themselves and the parish from the mosquito,” he pointed out.

Other partners in the clean-up effort include the Ministries of Education and Local Government and Community Development; and the national response team, which comprises the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Social Development Commission (SDC).

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