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  • Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the St. James Health Department will be getting an additional 30 vector control workers to assist with the destruction of mosquito breeding sites in the parish.
  • They will be selected from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, and will join the 11 permanent staff members and 63 temporary workers already engaged in mosquito eradication activities.
  • “We want to get to close to 100 or so temporary staff to work with the 11 permanent staff to create more teams to be deployed in the communities across the parish,” Dr. Tufton said.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the St. James Health Department will be getting an additional 30 vector control workers to assist with the destruction of mosquito breeding sites in the parish.

They will be selected from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, and will join the 11 permanent staff members and 63 temporary workers already engaged in mosquito eradication activities.

“We want to get to close to 100 or so temporary staff to work with the 11 permanent staff to create more teams to be deployed in the communities across the parish,” Dr. Tufton said.

He said the additional vehicles will be provided for vector control and private contractors engaged for fogging.

The Minister was speaking to journalists during a press briefing at the St. James Type Five Health Centre in Montego Bay on Friday (September 6), which preceded a tour of the Norwood and Flanker communities.

He said the Government is committed to ridding communities of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue.

“It is a time to respond and to address the challenges that we face and that is what we need to be focused on. We are prepared to play our part, and (where) we need to step up the pace and add additional resources, we will do that,” Dr. Tufton said.

For his part, Chief Public Health Inspector at the St. James Public Health Department, Lennox Wallace, told journalists that the department has ramped up mosquito control activities in the parish.

“We are properly mobilised to go out into these communities to ensure that we mitigate against the challenges….we would have visited, to date, 121 communities in the parish and we would have effected (mosquito control) measures in all of them , to include source reduction, adulticidal fogging and a series of health education (activities),” Mr. Wallace outlined.

He noted that on Monday (September 9), the department will commence early morning fogging in vulnerable communities.

“So, from 4:30 a.m., our workers will be out there ready to serve the public and to mitigate against any challenges that the communities have,” Mr. Wallace said.

Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, muscle, bone or joint pain, skin rash, and vomiting or feeling nauseous.

Persons are advised to eliminate mosquito breeding sites by properly discarding of items that collect water (old drums, used tyres and plastic containers); installing mosquito netting over beds; wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors; using a DEET repellant; and regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.

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