Representatives of the island’s 14 local authorities are reporting that extensive works have been undertaken at the community level in preparation for the Zika Virus (ZikV).
These include drain and gully cleaning, bushing, training, mobilisation of health information officers, distribution of nets to cover water drums, and public education through town hall meetings, distribution of flyers, and town criers.
They also report that advertorials have been placed on local radio and cable stations.
The representatives were updating Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, on work undertaken in support of the ZikV preparedness programme, which began in November 2015.
At the meeting, held recently at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices in Kingston, the representatives presented their plans for the additional work that is needed for the way forward.
Minster Arscott noted that while the Ministry of Health (MoH) is the lead agency in ZikV preparations and response, the Local Government Ministry wants to ensure that public areas such as markets, towns, municipal parks, drains and gullies are clean and do not become mosquito breeding grounds.
“This is a collaborative effort by the local authorities to pool resources and implement the best method to protect the communities during this ZikV alert awareness time,” Minister Arscott.
The meeting also looked at areas where the local authorities should focus their spending, and evaluated what has worked in the past in order to use these resources wisely, and implement practical plans.
Other attendees included Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Colin Fagan; Permanent Secretary, Denzil Thorpe; representatives from the Ministry of Health, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Social Development Commission (SDC), and Board of Supervision.