JAMAICA-HEALTH- Ministry of Health to start summer vector eradication programme

The Ministry of Health is to begin its Summer 2018 vector eradication and education initiative next month under its Enhanced Vector Control Programme.

The first phase will see 400 temporary workers being deployed across the island to assist in stemming the seasonal increase in mosquito prevalence, which begins annually towards the end of Summer.

mosquito“This increase usually starts in September and runs through to around February of the following year. The best way to combat this is to begin the necessary prevention at least three months before this,” explained Medical Entomologist in the Ministry of Health, Sherine Huntley Jones.

She noted that 1,000 temporary persons will participate in the programme and will be deployed on a phased basis across the island.

“These individuals come from a pool of persons trained in 2016 in vector control. Those individuals who have moved on from the programme are replaced by new trainees introduced into the system via the HOPE Programme,” Huntley Jones said.

The key functions of these individuals will include the identification and destruction of mosquito breeding sites, especially in general spaces in communities, and disseminating useful information regarding vector control.

Workers in each phase of the programme will be engaged for a total of 12 weeks and are paid a stipend during this period.

Huntley Jones further noted that in addition to work that the temporary staff will carry out, the Ministry will also increase its fogging and larvaecidal activity to ensure the best possible outcome.

“We also want to remind persons of their responsibility to monitor their surroundings and ensure that the conditions are not conducive to breeding. Like the theme for Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week says, ‘Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites’,” she said.

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