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  • President of the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI), Steve Morris, has lauded public health inspectors for the resilience and commitment shown in dealing with mosquito borne diseases.
  • Mr. Morris said members of his organisation have never shied away from challenges, even under trying circumstances, and continue to be a shining example for public sector workers.
  • He noted that this year, for the first time, his organisation will be honouring outstanding vector control workers and officers for the tremendous work they did during the chikungunya outbreak last year, and for the preventive work they have been doing in face of the threat of the zika virus (ZIKV).

President of the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI), Steve Morris, has lauded public health inspectors for the resilience and commitment shown in dealing with mosquito borne diseases.

Speaking at JAPHI’s 69th annual educational conference and exhibition on  October 27, at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa, in Hanover, Mr. Morris said members of his organisation have never shied away from challenges, even under trying circumstances, and continue to be a shining example for public sector workers.

“During the past decade, Jamaica has been impacted by mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and most recently, chikungunya. Throughout this period, public health inspectors have been there to minimise the effects of these diseases,” he said.

“Whatever happened in relation to those outbreaks would have been worse, had it not been for the work of public health inspectors across this country.  There would certainly have been a greater number of persons affected and maybe even mortalities. We are thankful for the work done by our support staff, namely vector control workers,” Mr. Morris added.

He  noted that this year, for the first time, his organisation will be honouring outstanding vector control workers and officers for the tremendous work they did during the chikungunya outbreak last year, and for the preventive work they have been doing in  face of the threat of the zika virus (ZIKV).

Mr. Morris said the threat of ZIKV remains high and every effort should be made to control the spread of the dreaded Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

He pointed out that over the past 69 years, his organisation has been leading the call for the professional development of public health inspectors in Jamaica, and that training and continuing education have always been high on its agenda.

Mr. Morris said the theme for the conference – ‘Putting Back the Public Into Public Health – Make Aedes aegypti History’ – was chosen to inspire the public to play a more vital role in the fight against mosquito borne diseases.

“Each individual and agency must participate in the fight by reducing breeding sites in and around their homes, communities and workplaces,” he urged.

Mr. Morris said that JAPHI has made it its duty to get as many of its members exposed to how the developed countries have been dealing with their public health problems, and has been conducting workshops and training sessions on a regular basis.