Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the St. Ann Health Department will be getting an additional 50 temporary vector control workers, to assist in the destruction of mosquito-breeding sites in the parish.
Speaking to journalists after a tour of the Exchange community in St. Ann, on January 16, the Minister pointed out that the workers would be selected from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme and the Ministry of Health Vector Support Programme.
“These workers will be divided into teams to go into critical areas in the parish,” Dr. Tufton informed.
He also noted that the parish’s vector control unit will be ramping up activities, such as fogging, as they seek to continue destroying the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Meanwhile, the Minister underscored the need for citizens to be vigilant in searching for mosquito-breeding sites in and around their homes.
“Everywhere you go, you find breeding sites that are in and around a home, such as tyres and cans. The most effective way to control the number of breeding sites is for residents to inspect in and around their homes periodically, particularly after the rain has fallen. Just apply simple methods to control the breeding, such as a little oil in the water, covering the drums, and punching holes in tyres and cans,” Dr. Tufton said.
For his part, Vector Control Coordinator at the St. Ann Health Department, Mark Miller, informed that the department is targeting locations in the parish that are known to have numerous mosquito-breeding sites.
“Tyre shops and garages, as well as schools and other premises are being targeted. The vector control unit is also doing regular ‘search and destroy’ activities to reduce mosquito breeding. We are also imploring residents to do their part by conducting thorough inspections in and around their homes at least once per week,” Mr. Miller said.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses.
Persons are advised to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites by discarding items that collect water (old drums, used tyres and plastic containers); installing mosquito netting over beds; wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors; using DEET repellant; and regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.