Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Stop blocking vector control workers, warns Manchester public health chief

Published:Monday | October 28, 2019 | 11:00 AM
Members from the Manchester Vector Control Unit conduct a search and destroy operation on the grounds of the Mandeville Police Station recently - Contributed photo

Residents in Manchester are being reminded that it is an offence to block public health inspectors from entering their premises to carry out their functions and that they can be fined a maximum of $1,000,000.

Persons who do not take steps to rid their premises of mosquito breeding sites can also be prosecuted and charged a maximum fine of $500,000.

Chief Public Health Inspector for the parish, Charmaine Palmer-Cross, made the reminder as she disclosed that vector control workers have encountered challenges in their duties to identify and destroy mosquito breeding sites in some communities. 

She explained that the Public Health Act gives public health inspectors the power to enter premises to execute these functions and failure to do so can result in prosecution.

“We are appealing to residents to cooperate with the vector control workers when they enter the community to employ vector control measures. The team has been working diligently, going from premises to premises in order to conduct mosquito search and destroy and educate residents. However, we are faced with the challenges of persons refusing workers access to their premises, even though they are properly identified and also not taking responsibility for mosquito breeding sites on their premises” Palmer-Cross said in a statement.

Palmer-Cross disclosed that more than 100 permanent and temporary vector control workers have been deployed to Manchester.

She said the team has been working assiduously to educate residents; inspecting and destroying mosquito breeding sites; distributing drum covers to householders and conducting increased fogging activities.

Palmer-Cross is appealing to residents to take personal responsibility in reducing the impact of mosquito breeding and mosquito-borne diseases.

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