Health Minister Declares Country Now Well-equipped to Handle Dengue

Latest Jamaica New: One more person has died from the dengue virus since the start of the year, as the number of deaths increased from the mosquito-borne illness between 2018 and 2020 to 85.

There were reports of 67 dengue-related deaths last year.

In providing update this morning at the health ministry, Minister Dr Christopher Tufton stated that even with the new level threat of the Coronavirus, it is important that Jamaicans do not lose sight of the dengue threat.

The challenge of dengue remains and we are working on that also on a parallel track,” he said.

He outlined that over the period, of the 2,325 or 22.5 per cent of the 10,331 persons who were hospitalised for suspected or confirmed dengue, 96.3 per cent recovered and were discharged.

In the meantime, Dr Tufton was pleased with the participation and results of the national dengue clean-up exercise led by the Labour Day secretariat several weeks ago.

There was a significant clean up across the country, solid waste in particular, [plus] sensitisation, and I think the country will be better for it. We are hoping that the consistency of the methods, the engaging of the community, will see better results on the dengue challenge. But we are not going to be complacent and we are not going to conclude until we are very comfortable that we have it under control,” he said.

He also added that the entire vector control programme fleet has been replaced by enabling wider coverage of areas.

The mounted foggers are significantly more efficient than the handheld ones; they cover a lot more communities, they’re a lot safer to handle in terms of the workers…so we should have no down time,” he said.

The health minister said with this and other measures being administered by the ministry, the country is now well supplied with items to handle dengue.

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