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Acting Chief Public Health Inspector for St. James, Sherika Lewis, is calling on residents to cover water storage containers properly, to prevent mosquito breeding.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation, held at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, on October 8, Ms. Lewis said that is one of the key ways to combat vector borne diseases, such as dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

“We want to implore the residents who may be storing water in containers to take all the precautions to ensure that the containers are covered properly to prevent the entry and breeding of mosquitoes,” Ms. Lewis emphasised.

She noted that for the month of September, 56,000 containers were inspected on premises across the parish, of which 4,200 were identified as mosquito breeding sites.

The Acting Chief Public Health Inspector also informed that the parish’s Aedes index increased to 13.2 per cent in September, up from 11 per cent in August.

The index refers to the percentage of premises or homes in a limited, well-defined space, where actual breeding of Aedes aegypti is found and the total number of houses examined in that area.

“For the month of September, 17,656 premises were inspected, 2, 341 of which were positive for mosquito breeding.

This brings the Aedes index to 13.2 per cent. We have inspected, when compared to the month of August, over 3,000 more premises, hence the Aedes index is expected to increase,” Ms. Lewis informed.

Meanwhile, she pointed out that the parish’s enhanced vector control programme, which ended on October 2, is expected to resume on October 20.

Ms. Lewis said in the interim, they have to ensure that they continue to keep the vector control programme afloat with the 11-member core team.

“In this regard, we will continue our seven days a week fogging and larvicidal activities. We should be able to manage the prorgamme area appropriately, until we can get support from the enhanced vector control programme,” she said.

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