Jamaica News: The St. James Municipal Corporation and the St. James Public Health Department have agreed to coordinate activities aimed at mitigating the risk of transmission of dengue in the parish.
The decision was announced at the Corporation’s monthly meeting on Thursday (April 11), where Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the Council, Homer Davis, noted that joint collaboration between the two bodies would provide for greater effectiveness in eradicating mosquito breeding sites and sensitising citizens on prevention methods.
He noted that a portion of the $8.5 million that has been made available to the 17 parish council divisions to strengthen vector control activities, could go to the health department for public education and training of vector control workers.
Each division received $500,000.
“As councillors, we have gotten a sizable sum of money. So you (St. James Public Health Department) do the training of the persons who would do the education programme on some of the preventative measures,” Mayor Davis said.
“I would like that whatever I am doing is something endorsed by the St. James Public Health Department, so that when (vector control workers) go out there, they can be representing [both organisations],” he added.
Chief Public Health Inspector of the St. James Public Health Department, Lennox Wallace, noted that the partnership will increase the number of vector control personnel, “making it easier to cover the parish in a quicker and more effective way”.
Mr. Wallace informed that the health department has been successful in reducing the mosquito infestation levels in the parish by approximately 50 per cent since eradication activities began in January. He said that the entity received some $28 million and employed 60 additional persons in the effort.
He noted, however, that St. James is “not out of the waters as yet” and is encouraging citizens to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites within their surroundings in order to reduce the spread of dengue.
“We want to remind residents that it is only the collection and transportation of refuse… that is of government responsibility. The rest, such as the proper storage of garbage, is an individual responsibility. So it’s a constant effort,” said Mr. Wallace.
“Out of the monies, we will continue with education in the different areas to ensure that the message is continuously being sent outside of the programme,” he added.
Source: JIS News