Wed | May 27, 2020

MoBay mayor optimistic as mosquito index falls

Published:Saturday | February 1, 2020 | 12:18 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor
Homer Davis
Homer Davis

WESTERN BUREAU:

Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis has hailed the St James Health Department for its role in the lowering of the Aedes index from nine per cent in December to seven per cent in January, which he believes is a crucial improvement in the war of attrition against the dreaded dengue fever.

Davis said that the parish was haunted by memories of other mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya and ZIK-V from 2014 to 2017 and was still coping with dengue fever deaths as far back as 2018.

The mayor heaped praise on the St James Health Department for the pivotal role it had taken in driving down the Aedes index.

“What it means is that the lowering of the Aedes index tells us that the number of breeding sites found in relation to the number of premises inspected has declined,” said Davis, who was attending a town hall meeting in Granville, St James, earlier this week.

Davis also commended the Government’s three-day clean-up and sensitisation campaign that ran from January 24-26 themed ‘Wanted Dead ... Not Alive’.

He said that the St James Municipal Corporation, which he chairs, has budgeted $4.5 million on initiatives to control the spread of the vector-borne disease. Councillors will receive $250,000 to undertake dengue mitigation programmes in all 17 divisions, said Davis.

“The St James Health Department, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Culture just completed a massive clean-up programme in the community of Salt Spring on the weekend, where several truckloads of bulky waste and domestic waste were removed and, hopefully, that effort will result in the destruction of the breeding sites of the dreaded mosquito,” said Davis.

The mayor also implored residents to allow health workers to carry out their vector-control duties to identify and destroy mosquito-breeding sites.