Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Spike in mosquito-borne disease looms in eastern Ja

Published:Monday | June 12, 2023 | 12:37 AMGareth Davis, Sr/Gleaner Writer


With the increase in rainfall being experienced islandwide, Dr Tamara Bailey, medical officer of health for the eastern region, is cautioning that anspike in mosquito-borne diseases could be on the horizon.

Bailey, who was addressing the monthly sitting of the St Mary Municipal Corporation last Thursday, said the Ministry of Health and Wellness is expected to intensify fogging in the northeastern parishes of St Ann, St Mary and Portland, in order to mitigate against dengue and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

According to Bailey, a rigorous sensitisation programme has been launched in schools across those parishes, through which students are being educated on the importance of knowing about the dangers posed by mosquitoes, especially during periods of increased rainfall.

“We’ve been in our schools sensitising our children, because we know that is where education has the greatest impact,” she said. “On the ground, we are in the schools reminding our children how to search and destroy, and we hope that they will take it home to their parents. And as we have said here today, we hope that every person here will take it home, do it for yourself, but also remember your community members. When we do get complaints, we try to target our operations. So we continue our surveillance to ensure that we hit where we are supposed to hit.”

Since the increase in rainfall in Portland, St Mary, and St Ann over the last two weeks, residents in various communities have complained about the presence of mosquitoes in their homes, nearby drains, and in bushes which, they said, have continue to increase with each downpour.

As a result, business operators, school administrators, and householders are being reminded to search for and to destroy mosquito-breeding sites in order to prevent them from reproducing.