PM instructs Ministry of Health to take action to reduce effects of Zika Virus on Jamaicans

Photo: FILE Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has instructed the Ministry of Health to take a proactive approach to reduce the threat of the Zika Virus and its possible impact on Jamaican citizens.
  • Minister Dalley is stressing that the Ministry of Health cannot do it alone, and the Ministry is taking a collaborative approach while urging personal preventive action by all Jamaicans.
  • Citizens should also avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or Icaridin; utilising mosquito nets, mosquito destroyers or putting screens on windows and doors.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has instructed the Ministry of Health to take a proactive approach to reduce the threat of the Zika Virus and its possible impact on Jamaican citizens. The announcement was made by Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Daley as he gave an update on the actions being taken while speaking at the Jamaica House Media Briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, January 20.

Minister Dalley is stressing that the Ministry of Health cannot do it alone, and the Ministry is taking a collaborative approach while urging personal preventive action by all Jamaicans. The Minister is therefore urging all Jamaicans to get involved to combat the spread and impact of the disease, which is transmitted by Aedes Aegypti mosquitos.

“We are calling on communities, church and school administrators, businesses and householders to band together and help to rid their communities of mosquito breeding sites,”  Minister Dalley said.

Jamaicans can help to minimize the impact by eradicating  mosquito breeding sites  in their homes, workplaces and other surroundings, by ensuring that areas where water can settle are kept dry; and containers such as vases are cleaned regularly or filled with soil or sand. Holes should also be punched in containers before discarding and garbage disposed of properly.

Citizens should also avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or Icaridin; utilising mosquito nets, mosquito destroyers or putting screens on windows and doors.

Additionally, persons should help to protect themselves and high risk groups such as pregnant women, children, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and sickle cell, by encouraging the wearing of protective clothing such as socks, long sleeved shirts or blouses and long pants and skirts where possible.

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