Jamaica News: The St. James Public Health Services has intensified its public education campaign to sensitise residents about the need to take personal responsibility in the fight against dengue.
Parish Health, Promotion and Education Officer, Julian Grandison Mullings, says a number of people have been turning up at health centres with symptoms of dengue, and urges individuals to take the necessary precaution against the vector-borne disease.
She told JIS News that aggressive health promotion and vector-control teams have been targeting schools and faith-based institutions, conducting inspections and disseminating information on the importance of implementing good vector-control practices.
“From a health promotions perspective, we target the students. So we will do their general devotions where we will educate them and ensure that they have printed material. We also seek to tap into the staff meetings where we educate the staff and PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations). Treatment of this problem has to be holistic. It has to be everybody understanding that it is their responsibility and that they play a significant role and part,” she emphasised.
Additionally, the officer indicated that “we get colleagues to do sessions in their homes, churches and we are in partnerships with community groups such as the Community Development Committees”.
Mrs. Mullings informed that the St. James Public Health Services will take its public education drive to the communities of Norwood and Salt Spring on Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19, respectively.
“We will be having a walk-through of the Norwood area. A group is there that seeks to do their own thing, so we are partnering with them. We are giving them educational material and we are going through the community with them to do some inspections, sensitisation and distribution of educational material,” she adds.
“On Thursday, we will be having a community meeting in the Salt Spring area where we will be sensitising the citizens about the signs and symptoms of dengue and what they need to do to control the breeding sites,” Mrs. Mullings also said.
She implores residents to take all the necessary steps to help reduce the mosquito population in their communities.
“People say we need to do fogging and, yes, fogging is important; but the fogging only affects the adult mosquitoes. Therefore, it means that the other three stages that a mosquitoes goes through can only be controlled from an individual perspective. Each person needs to get into their home and community setting and do inspections,” Mrs. Mullings added.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, recently indicated that the Ministry will be embarking on an islandwide tour to sensitise residents on how to control the spread of dengue.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is transmitted mainly by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito also transmits the chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses.
Source: JIS News