Rat Control Project Underway to Contain Leptospirosis


Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has said that the Ministry has implemented a rat baiting and control project, to reduce the rat population and so interrupt the spread of leptospirosis.
The project, which is being implemented in selected areas, is being supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The Health Minister, who was addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew held on (Nov. 13) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, said that while the total number of cases of leptospirosis is still within endemic levels, there is still need to be vigilant about rat control in order to keep the numbers down.
He noted that the persistent rains have had an impact on the number of persons who have contracted the disease, as playing or walking in floodwaters is one of the ways in which the infection is passed to humans. “Householders in urban as well as rural areas should practice measures that will control the rat population,” he advised.
The Health Minister, in the meantime, said that the Ministry has been able to bring malaria under control after it re-emerged last year, 40 years after it was eradicated from the island.
“The health staff was able to bring the disease under control and for a period of 16 weeks before October 9, 2007 there were no confirmed cases of malaria. During that time, malaria prevention and control measures continued,” Mr. Spencer said.
He informed that there are at least two confirmed cases of malaria in Kingston and St. Andrew and the Ministry has increased its activities to prevent the disease from spreading. This includes fever surveillance from house-to-house, mosquito control, public education and inter-sectoral collaboration.

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