Speech

The Ministry of Local Government & Community Development acknowledges the important role it plays in any national response to the spread of the Chikungunya Virus. Portfolio Minster, the Hon. Noel Arscott convened an inter-ministerial meeting with Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, and Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, all Mayors and Secretary Managers on Thursday September 25, 2014.

At that meeting, information available from the Ministry of Health was used to rank the Parishes which were most affected at that time as well as to determine the best set of preventative actions which could be taken to limit the spread to other areas.

Arising from that exercise, the Mayors were mandated to develop Parish programmes in partnership with local Health Departments. Additional resources have been identified and allocations will be made to enhance the local efforts.

Prior to this meeting, the Ministry had released funds to six Local Authorities for Drain Cleaning, Chemical Treatment and Bushing/Clearing as part of a wider Vector Control Programme.

Some Local Authorities have also trained persons to disseminate information on the Chikungunya Virus and to identify and destroy breeding sites.

It is important to note that this is in addition to the normal programme of work within Local Authorities with respect to environmental health and safety at the community levels.

Representatives from the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing and the National Works Agency as well as the National Solid Waste Management Authority were also in attendance at this meeting.

A follow up meeting will be scheduled in short order to assess the impact of these interventions and determine any further actions which need to be taken as we continue to respond to the situation.