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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s mosquito control programme has been further strengthened with the establishment of another national insectary.
  • The facility, which was officially opened on May 3, is located at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kingston.
  • Its operations are integral to bolstering the Government’s thrust to reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as Dengue Fever and the Zika virus, through interventions restricting the prevalence of mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers.

Jamaica’s mosquito control programme has been further strengthened with the establishment of another national insectary.

The facility, which was officially opened on May 3, is located at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kingston.

Its operations are integral to bolstering the Government’s thrust to reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as Dengue Fever and the Zika virus, through interventions restricting the prevalence of mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (centre), officially opens the new national insectary on May 3. The facility is located at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kingston. Assisting him (from left are: Director for Environmental Health in the Health Ministry, Everton Baker; Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Simone Spence; United States Agency for International Development/Zika AIRS Project (USAID/ZAP) Chief of Party, Jean Margaritis; and USAID Country Representative for Jamaica, Jason Fraser.

 

It will, additionally, be used to train the Ministry of Health’s vector control officers, and facilitate multi agency research and partnerships.

The insectary results from a collaboration between the Ministry and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

It is the second such, following the opening of an insectary at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus in 2018.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (right), lifts one of the equipment that will be used at the new national insectary which was officially opened on May 3. The facility is located at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kingston. Assisting him is United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Representative for Jamaica, Jason Fraser.

 

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the new facility’s opening represents significant progress in the fight to control and, eventually, eliminate the mosquito population, while emphasizing the research component.

“What this relationship with the USAID/Zika AIRS Project (ZAP) has done for us is to create a research platform where we now have an insectary which allows us to collect data on the mosquito that is the source of our disease transmission,” he said.

USAID Country Representative for Jamaica, Jason Fraser, said the agency’s support will assist in positioning Jamaica to foster a continuous cycle of evidence-driven policies, operations and response to mosquito-borne diseases.

“Containing Zika and other communicable diseases is one of the US Government’s top priorities, not only in Jamaica, but in the region. We all know that infectious diseases, such as Zika, know no borders and we must work together to protect all of our citizens,” he said.

Mr. Fraser, who noted that the agency and the Ministry have been partnering on this initiative since 2017, said the USAID/ZAP team has also provided support with updated tools, guidelines and best practices, including insecticide resistance, a revised vector control curriculum and weekly/monthly reports on data collected in the field.