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JIS News

The St. James Public Health Department, has intensified its vector control activities across the parish due to an infestation of mosquitoes, resulting from water left behind by flooding, caused by Tropical Storm Gustav.
With several areas across St. James experiencing the settling of large pools of water, the breeding of the dengue and malaria-carrying insects, has brought added worry for families in these communities.
Chairman of the St. James Disaster Preparedness Committee, Councillor Cecil Davis, speaking to participants at a meeting of that committee in the St. James Parish Council’s Chambers in Montego Bay, on Tuesday (Sept. 16), noted that several complaints have been received from residents about the increased population of mosquitoes, and the fear of the outbreaks of diseases.
“This is a problem that must be given priority attention by the Health Department, as we seek to preserve the health and wellness of citizens, especially the children. I am therefore going to request that the Public Health teams step up their vector control activities and do extensive defogging and oiling in the worst affected areas. I am aware that resources are inadequate but every effort must be made to go into as many of these communities as possible and do the necessary work, so as to assist the citizens who are suffering,” Councillor Davis stated.
The Public Health representatives participating in the meeting, reported that due to the constraints on resources at the department, some affected areas could not be reached. The representatives said that at least two more teams of four workers each and another defogging machine, would impact positively on the drive to rid the worst affected communities of mosquitoes.
Meanwhile, the Committee agreed on the decision to collaborate with all the relevant entities, to immediately launch an extensive public education campaign across the parish, to sensitise residents on precautionary measures to assist in reducing the risk of further outbreaks, and how to deal effectively with the proper collection and disposal of all solid waste.