Tufton seeks advice on mosquitoes
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton has said the establishment of a mosquito-control unit in his ministry, is being contemplated in light of the continued global emergence of mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus.
Tufton made his comments during the ministry's first 'Let's Talk Health' parish town hall meeting at the Sandy Bank Primary School in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, on Thursday night.
"In some countries, like Cayman, they have a department they call the Mosquito Control Unit, and I want to get your views on it. Should we actually establish such a unit, where we develop a full-fledged focused attention to deal with mosquitoes because it is sufficiently important and a huge carrier of diseases like ZIKV and chik-V and others?" Tufton said.
"As Government, we may need to do that," he said. "In fact, I have asked the technocrats to develop terms of reference to examine the requirements and to let us look, in the months to come, if we need to create an entire unit just to focus on that entire problem caused by that particular vector, and we will make you more aware of that over time," the minister added.
Tufton said that since ministry data show that most breeding sites are located within private dwellings, the Government is relying on behaviour change and personal and collective responsibility by citizens to curtail the problem.
"You know that in some countries, there is legislation that says if the (public health) inspector goes to your house and he finds breeding sites, he can fine you? You know that? Some countries take it so seriously that they can literally charge you for having sites in and around your yard that facilitate the breeding of mosquitoes. Malaysia does it, Cuba does it, and I ask you the question tonight - Do you think we should do that?" Tufton asked.