Jamaica News: The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has acquired 12 new vehicles at a cost of $80.1 million to enhance vector control and the delivery of mental healthcare services across the region.
The vehicles, purchased by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, comprise eight Toyota pickup trucks valued at $48.2 million and four Toyota Hiace buses at a cost of $31.9 million.
Each of the four parishes within the health region (St. James, Hanover, Trelawny and Westmoreland) will be assigned two pickups for vector-control activities, while the buses will be used to support psychiatric emergency response at the community level.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony at the Cornwall Regional Hospital’s Stores at Freeport, Montego Bay, on Wednesday (December4), Regional Director at the WRHA, Errol Greene, said that the pickups represent another armor in the fight against the spread of dengue.
He charged the parish managers to ensure that the vehicles are properly maintained and that they are used for the intended purpose of enhancing and expanding vector control.
“I will be holding the parish managers accountable or responsible for the care of those vehicles. They are the accountable officers for the parish and, therefore, I would expect that each parish manager would give the charge to the maintenance manager for their parish and those who will be driving these vehicles, to ensure that they are cared for properly,” Mr. Greene said.
He informed that an additional eight vehicles with fogging apparatus will be handed over to the WRHA in short order.
“We made petition for and we were granted approval for another eight pick-ups. These will be mounted with ultra-low volume (ULV) machines, meaning you can’t use them for other purposes other than vector control. We expect to get those shortly,” he said.