Mosquito Search & Destroy initiative
The Ministry of Health, in partnership with several stakeholders, will embark on a National clean-up day dubbed 'Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy' this Saturday, February 20, 2016.
In a recent meeting of the Ministry's National Emergency Operations Centre, along with the Ministry of Local Government, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), JEEP, JDF, JCF, Social Development Commission (SDC), the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), among others, it was agreed that the official launch of the national clean-up day will take place this Wednesday, February 17, 2016.
The launch will involve all the stakeholders, who will speak to their area of involvement and mobilization and motivation of citizens as a major component of the operation.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De La Haye said Spanish Town will be the main area of focus for Saturday's operation - mosquito search-and-destroy activities - as it is one of our high Aedes index areas, which means a high proportion of homes in the area have been found to have breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses in that area.
FOCUS OF ACTIVITIES
Minister of Health Horace Dalley indicated that "the national clean-up day is not a one-day effort, and although Spanish Town will be the focus of the activities on that day, all hands need to be on deck in this national approach to ridding our homes of mosquito breeding sites."
Dr De La Haye said: "What has highlighted the need for behaviour change is the fluctuating mosquito indices. Areas where we have been successful in bringing the Aedes index down have again seen increased mosquito breeding over time, and until we consistently destroy larvae and breeding sites, this effort will not be successful,". The Chief Medical Officer added that "this highlights the need for behaviour change in the way we manage our waste".
He further stressed that "it is important that citizens understand that fogging kills only a proportion of adult mosquitoes and not larvae. It is, therefore, important that each Jamaican makes every effort to destroy breeding sites in and around their homes".