The Jamaican public is being urged to take proactive measures to eradicate mosquito breeding sites and eliminate the threat of dengue fever, by removing any standing water from their properties.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has made the call amidst a growing concern of a possible resurgence of dengue in the country.
In fact, Dr. Tufton has said the Ministry is already collaborating with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to conduct tests and assessments of the “vector index to look at the mosquito population”.
“I am awaiting some additional tests to comment publicly and, of course, to brief the Honourable Prime Minister and the Cabinet on what the experts are saying,” he told journalists, during a tour of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St. James, on Friday (August 11).
Dr. Tufton cited the need for the populace to remain mindful of the re-emerging dengue threat and act to get rid of tyres and tin cans and to cover water drums and other catchments that can be used as breeding sites by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which transmit dengue fever.
“If you don’t store [water] properly, it creates a breeding site. During rain, water stores naturally and if you don’t manage that, then it becomes a breeding site,” the Minister said.
“So, there are some concerns. We’re looking into those concerns and assessing them with the experts via some tests and an audit of the environment,” he added.
In the meantime, Dr. Tufton noted that the Ministry is in a state of readiness in terms of vector-control activities and field operations.
He indicated that Jamaica has plenty of fogging machines, including vehicle-mounted foggers, personnel recruited through drives over the years, community health aides, medical facilities, increased health supplies and equipment.
“So, we have an infrastructure that is a lot better than it was before,” said Dr. Tufton.
Source: Jamaica Government Information Service.