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Full cooperation needed to eradicate mosquitoes

Published:Monday | March 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton examines tyre with health worker during Operation: Mosquito Search and Destroy cleanup campaign in Mansfield, Ocho Rios, St. Ann

Minister of Health D. Christopher Tufton is calling for the full cooperation and participation of citizens in eradicating mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as the Zika virus (ZIKV), dengue and chikungunya (chik-V).

He said that all Jamaicans have an important role to play in keeping these vectors at bay, by destroying their breeding sites.

Dr Tufton was speaking at the launch of the ?Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy? campaign in St Ann, held on Saturday at the Ocean Village Shopping Centre in Ocho Rios.

The Ministry of Health-led clean-up activity was undertaken in Mansfield Heights, Buckfield and Parry Town.

Scores of volunteers joined the ministry and its partners in removing bulky waste, speaking with residents and distributing fliers.

Dr Tufton said the islandwide clean-up project is important, as it promotes community participation in identifying and destroying mosquito-breeding sites.

?Oftentimes, when we have challenges such as these, we tend to depend a lot on Government to provide the solutions, but more important, that solution lies with all of us,? he pointed out.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson called on citizens from the targeted communities to ?place all hands on deck? as they partner with Government in making their communities free of mosquitoes.

?While we cannot control and prevent how these mosquito-borne viruses enter our country, we as citizens have a role to play in taking care of our own spaces and communities. We must therefore take responsibility for the way we dispose of our garbage as well as how we store water at our homes,? she pointed out.

The clean-up activity also involved the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Defence Force, St Ann Parish Council, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, Social Development Commission, and Red Cross.

?Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy? was first undertaken in St Catherine on February 21, and will be implemented in communities across the island, which are considered high risk for breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits ZIKV.