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    • The Health Ministry’s vector control programme has received a boost with the addition of 14 new vehicles to its fleet, to assist in further controlling the dengue outbreak, which is now on the decline.
    • Speaking at the handing over of the vehicles by the National Health Fund (NHF), at its Marcus Garvey Drive pharmaceutical division, on Friday (January 11), Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the vehicles will be particularly helpful in rural areas and hilly terrain, where accessibility for fogging has been challenging.
    • He informed that the $38 million for the vehicles was sourced from an allocation of $111 million that Cabinet decided on, after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, to deal with the dengue control programme until March 31, 2013.

    The Health Ministry’s vector control programme has received a boost with the addition of 14 new vehicles to its fleet, to assist in further controlling the dengue outbreak, which is now on the decline.

    Speaking at the handing over of the vehicles by the National Health Fund (NHF), at its Marcus Garvey Drive pharmaceutical division, on Friday (January 11), Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the vehicles will be particularly helpful in rural areas and hilly terrain, where accessibility for fogging has been challenging.

    He informed that the $38 million for the vehicles was sourced from an allocation of $111 million that Cabinet decided on, after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, to deal with the dengue control programme until March 31, 2013.

    Dr. Ferguson disclosed that from the allocation, some 28 fogging machines were also acquired, with plans for a total of 40 to be purchased.

    “The expectation is that we will get the additional 20 fogging machines this month,” the Minister noted.

    Meanwhile, the Health Minister said in the last six weeks, there has been a reduction in the number of new dengue cases. Between January and December 22 last year, there were 5,613 clinically suspected cases; however, there were only 746 laboratory confirmations.

    Ten persons died from the disease during the period.

    Dr. Ferguson emphasised that despite the reduction, the ministry will not be letting up on control efforts and continues to appeal to all households and businesses to continue to make every effort to destroy breeding sites.

    He said the ministry will continue with fogging activities and the removal of breeding sites of the aedes egypti mosquitoes, pointing out that between January and December 2012, and particularly in the month of September, over 2,000 communities were fogged, with repeated fogging in some.

    “Concurrently, approximately 78,932 premises have been searched and approximately 179,390 containers inspected for mosquito vectors. Some 34,739 were found positive (and) 38,645 containers have been treated,” he outlined informed.

    The Minister added that some 273 tyre shops, 105 garages and 44 dump sites have been inspected and treatment administered where breeding locations were found.