Wed | Oct 16, 2019

StJMC, health department to forge vector-control partnership

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:06 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Lennox Wallace, the chief public health inspector for St James, is supporting a suggestion from Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis for the St James Health Department to train representatives from the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC) to carry out vector-control work in the parish.

Speaking with The Gleaner on Monday, Wallace said that this move would prevent uncertainty about the validity of supposed vector-control workers who do not carry identification or other credentials from the health department.

“We’re the only agency that provides training for these workers, so we do not want councillors to just pick up five or six persons and send them into communities. Persons called the police and the health department to ask if we sent those persons, and we said we did not,” said Wallace.

“All government workers employed to the St James Health Department’s vector control department are properly branded and have the Ministry of Health identification that they have to wear at all times before they enter premises. So those persons the councillors would have taken up, we are saying to send them to us so we can properly train and brand them.”

During last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the StJMC, Davis, who is chairman of the corporation, proposed a partnership with the health department for persons to be trained in controlling mosquito breeding in St James.

“I’m wondering how we can collectively partner with the health department where, if possible, each councillor could allocate a particular sum of money, and you (health department) would train the persons who we would like to do the education programme on the preventative measures for mosquitoes,” Davis said during the meeting.

St James’ Aedes aegypti index, which measures the number of houses inspected divided by the number of mosquitoes found breeding, has been reduced from 37 per cent to 13 per cent during the health department’s vector control programme from January 4 to March 22 this year.