Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
In response to a drastic increase in the number of dengue cases in the island, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says he is taking an inter-ministerial approach to stem the problem.
Ferguson told The Gleaner yesterday that the Ministry of Health would be collaborating with the ministries of Local Government and Transport and Works to address the outbreak of the illness.
The country has recorded an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever since the start of the year, with the ministry reporting 974 suspected cases as at September 22, compared with 887 for all of 2011, and 3,202 in 2010 when there was an outbreak.
"We are taking a joint-government approach. I have convened a meeting with Minister (Noel) Arscott, the local government minister, and also with Minister (Richard) Azan, the minister of state in the transport ministry, and we have been meeting about the issue," he said.
"We have had two meetings also with mayors and we have some detailed discussions on the approach that we will be taking."
The minister is expected to reveal details of the approach he will be taking to address the outbreak and the cost to carry out the plans during a press briefing today.
Due to the increase in cases, the ministry has heightened its surveillance of dengue fever and has been carrying out increased mosquito-control activities, including community-based education and promotion, fogging and source reduction, treatment and destruction of breeding sites.
To date, there have been three reported cases of death, only one case of which has been confirmed.