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The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development will be providing funds for the emergency response to contain the dengue outbreak, says Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie.
Speaking with journalists at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 27, the Minister noted that the resources will be channelled through the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
He said discussions have commenced with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to have the “agency roll out some programmes” to ensure communities are cleaned.
The Minister said that within a few days the clean-up programmes will start in the areas identified by the Health Ministry and then extended to other communities, while urging community members to ensure that “proper garbage disposal” is carried out.
“There has to be a shared responsibility by Jamaicans in the fight against dengue and the protracted fight that we have in ensuring that we have a clean country,” Minister McKenzie said.
For his part, Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, said the “problematic sites” are earmarked for action, such as removal of bulky waste by his teams, and the “NSWMA is fully ready to play its part in what we are asked to do, starting this weekend”.
The Health Ministry recently advised that its National Surveillance Unit reported that Jamaica has surpassed the dengue epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for the month of September. This means the country has seen an increase in the number of cases compared to what is normally seen during these months.
As at Friday, September 22, the country had recorded 565 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases of dengue. Of that number, 78 cases had been confirmed, with the majority of the cases seen in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.