Wed | Feb 21, 2018

Government to go after mosquitoes on Labour Day

Published:Saturday | May 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the issues surrounding vector-borne diseases currently affecting the country have prodded the Government to focus heavily on health and the environment for Labour Day.

Speaking at the launch of National Workers' Week and Labour Day, held at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew, Holness said that Portmore, St Catherine, would be the major focus for this year's activities.

"Interestingly, the lion is not the most dangerous animal anymore. It is the mosquito," he said.

"I have given a directive to the various ministries and agencies to focus on Portmore for this year. We will be going to Gregory Park, among other communities. Of course, we know Portmore is a community that is very vulnerable. When it rains there, mosquitoes build up, and its dense population makes it risky," he continued.

Holness added, "Of the six cases of the Zika virus, five are from Portmore. This a good rationale to focus on the community. I also want to appeal to persons to volunteer your time. Go through your communities and look for breeding sites."




The prime minister also called on the Church to be a major part of the clean-up campaign, indicating that the institution has one of the most powerful platforms to disseminate messages.

"I encourage the Church to come on board as we would have heard of the millions of people who are affected yearly and, of course, Jamaica had its own experience with chikungunya," he said.

"We realise that the environment is not something fancy that people make up, but it has a large impact on our health, particularly because of the viruses and the vector-borne diseases we are now experiencing."

Labour Day will be observed on May 23.