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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The St. Catherine Parish Council is undertaking intensive clean-up activities in Spanish Town and surrounding communities, as part of its vector control and awareness programme, in preparation for the Zika Virus (ZikV).
  • The clean-up is being carried out by the St. Catherine Health Department, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the St. Catherine Parish Council.
  • The Council has partnered with the NSWMA, the St. Catherine Health Department, the Parish Development Committee (PDC), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Social Development Commission (SDC) in the overall vector control and eradication programme.

The St. Catherine Parish Council is undertaking intensive clean-up activities in Spanish Town and surrounding communities, as part of its vector control and awareness programme, in preparation for the Zika Virus (ZikV).

Chairman of the St. Catherine Parish Council and Mayor of Spanish Town, Norman Scott, told  JIS News that the Council  is taking the threat very seriously and is moving to ensure that all mosquito breeding sites are destroyed and that  persons are informed about the virus and how to protect themselves.

The Mayor said the Council continues its clean-up activities, in anticipation of the virus reaching Jamaica.

Among the areas being targeted are Duncan’s Pen Road, Salt Pond Road and Old Harbour Bay fishing beach.

-Mr. Scott pointed out that these heavily populated areas are considered possible sites for mosquito breeding.

“We are looking to go into Old Harbour Bay (this week end). Old Harbour Bay fishing beach is one of those areas that people visit, so we’re going in there to do a massive clean-up,” he said.

The clean-up is being carried out by the St. Catherine Health Department, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and the St. Catherine Parish Council.

Additionally, the Parish Council, in collaboration with the St. Catherine Health Department, continues to investigate and eradicate breeding sites of the disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Meanwhile, the Council is carrying out drain cleaning activities in several communities, including Big Pond, Bannister, Williams Street, Burke Road and Oxford Road.

The Mayor said that the clean-up programme will shortly be expanded to the rural communities of St. Catherine.

“We are looking at the areas that are high risk and areas that are considered breeding sites for the mosquitoes. There are some rural areas that are mosquito infested, so we are looking to carry out similar activities within the coming week,” Mr. Scott informed.

Among the communities are Guys Hill, Riversdale, Mount Industry, Point Hill and Browns Hall.

The Council has partnered with the NSWMA, the St. Catherine Health Department, the Parish Development Committee (PDC), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Social Development Commission (SDC) in the overall vector control and eradication programme.

Mayor Scott said the Council will be procuring drum covers designed by the Ministry of Health to prevent mosquito breeding in the 45 to 55 gallon drums that are widely used in rural areas. These are to be made available to members of the public.

The Council and the Health Department will be hosting Community Forums on January 25 at the Greendale Community Centre and on January 27 at the Windsor Heights Community Centre, to inform about the virus, such as the symptoms, its transmission and to reinforce vector control strategies.

The Zika Virus is spread by the infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.  The most common breeding sites are drums, tyres and containers in and around communities.