Chik-V cleaner up
ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:
THE ST ANN Parish Council began a three-day training programme for approximately 70 volunteers on Wednesday as efforts to combat the chikungunya virus (chik-v) in the parish shifted gear.
In sessions held at the Baptist Church in St Ann's Bay, the volunteers who were drawn from communities across the parish, were given necessary information and trained in how to disseminate the information to others, later on.
"We had around 70 persons from across the parish and they were given basic information on the causes, prevention tips, how to identify breeding sites, and the necessary information to combat the chikungunya virus," explained Mayor of St Ann's Bay, Desmond Gilmore.
"By weekend they should be back in their communities where they will organise efforts to combat the virus."
The volunteers will also be first respondents in the event of disasters in their community.
The council's clean-up campaign began a week ago when councillors led citizens in their various divisions on a drive to rid the communities of breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread chik-v.
It was a start that Gilmore, councillor for the Lime Hall division was hoping would have got more support. But he explained it was not a one-day effort, but an ongoing process.
"We think we could have gotten a better response. We are just asking every citizen to take responsibility for their own space, clean up their yard," Gilmore said.
"As a council, we try to bring awareness, that is what we can do. It is an ongoing effort, we have to try and keep our surroundings clean and free of breeding sites."
Meanwhile, councillor for the Beecher Town division, Ian Bell, led the start of the clean-up process in Parry Town, with several residents turning out to assist.
"We expect to get rid of some of the breeding sites for the mosquitoes that are alleged to be causing the spread of the chik-v," Bell told The Gleaner.
"We have removed a lot of old appliances, stoves, refrigerators, we have the assistance of a truck belonging to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, with the assistance of the Area commander, ACP Ealan Powell, he assisted us with a truck and a driver so we want to also give him thanks."
Bell said he chose to start in Parry Town because several students and teachers at the primary school have been sickened by the chik-v.