Fri | Dec 1, 2023

St James health department gets mosquito fogging machines valued at $1.5 million

Published:Sunday | October 1, 2023 | 12:34 PM
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon (second right), hands over one of five fogging machines to Parish Manager at the St James Public Health Department, Lennox Wallace (left) during a recent ceremony held at the St James Municipal Corporation offices in Montego Bay. The corporation donated the machines to the department to bolster the fight against dengue fever in the parish. Sharing in the moment are Regional Operations Manager at WPM Waste Management Ltd, Edward Muir (second left), and Chief Executive Officer of the St James Municipal Corporation, Naudia Crosskill. - Contributed photo.

The St James Municipal Corporation has donated five fogging machines to the St James Public Health Department, which will be used in mosquito eradication activities in communities across the parish.

The machines were acquired at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.

They will bolster vector-control operations by the health department as the island experiences a dengue outbreak.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness declared the outbreak on Saturday, September 23 as the National Surveillance Unit advised that Jamaica surpassed the dengue epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for the month of September.

Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, said the Corporation saw it fit to assist the health department in ensuring that the disease does not take hold in the parish.

St James has had no reported cases of dengue, to date.

“We have decided that we must take swift action, not that we have not been doing the necessary work; we have. In fact, the health department has been consistent in destroying mosquito breeding sites and doing the necessary due diligence to ensure that the [mosquito] population is managed and reduced,” Vernon said.

The deputy mayor encouraged citizens to check their surroundings to ensure that there are no mosquito breeding sites in their communities.

For his part, Parish Manager at the St James Health Department, Lennox Wallace, thanked the Corporation for the fogging machines.

“Immediately after the announcement of an outbreak, the municipal corporation came to our aid and I want to really thank you, [Vernon] and the team here. It is not unusual for this organisation to support the health department.

“In the previous [dengue] outbreak, not only did they contribute [funds], but they contributed vehicles as well for us to rid the parish of [breeding sites] in the shortest possible time, and here they are [assisting] again,” Wallace said.

He informed that the department has heightened prevention activities to include twice-daily fogging commencing on September 26 at 4:00 a.m.

Also, in attendance at the handover ceremony were Acting Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of St James, Eron Samuels, and representatives from WPM Waste Management Limited.

- JIS News

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