Wed | Jul 15, 2020

Health ministry gets 60 vehicles for vector control

Published:Wednesday | January 29, 2020 | 12:24 AM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has acquired an additional 60 vehicles for the National Vector Control Management Programme, at a cost of approximately $400 million, to assist in further controlling mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue.

Ten of the vehicles are already out in the field.

Documents for the other 50 vehicles were handed over to the Directors of the four regional health authorities on Monday at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who witnessed the handover, said the Government is making a deliberate and concerted effort to invest in areas such as health, security, education and infrastructure.

“We want the country to understand that the Government is being very responsible and very fair in spreading whatever additional resources we may have …. We are at this point because there was a period of 10 years of sacrifice to return the country to fiscal stability,” he noted.

He said that while the country is not entirely “over the hump”, progress is being made incrementally.

“I believe that this will be the decade where Jamaica finally rises out of its slumber, and this will be the decade of growth and well-being for our people,” the prime minister added.

Meanwhile, Holness said the acquisition of the vehicles will assist in reducing the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya.

“There are many vectors that carry and spread diseases, and this will certainly help,” he said.

For his part, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said the new fleet was acquired over the last three months, adding that the vehicles have been equipped with mounted foggers.

“The vehicle-mounted foggers are a lot more efficient; you can do a lot more communities and, by extension, you can cover a much wider area. I’m going to put all mature mosquitoes on notice – we are coming for you dead, not alive,” he said.