Tue | Nov 28, 2023

$331 million provided for dengue mitigation

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2023 | 11:58 AM
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, speaking in the House of Representatives on October 3. - Contributed photo.

A sum of $331 million has been allocated to support mitigation works across Jamaica as the Government ramps up efforts to contain the dengue outbreak.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure while speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Tufton said that $96 million will go to the municipal corporations to undertake various works.

In addition, the National Works Agency (NWA) will coordinate the cleaning of major drains in high-risk communities through $160 million provided through the National Health Fund (NHF).

The fund has also provided $75 million to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) for the removal of bulky waste from communities across the country.

As of September 29, data from the Ministry's National Surveillance Unit showed that the number of presumed, suspected, and confirmed dengue cases has increased to 1,117.

Of that number, 160 are confirmed dengue cases – 158 dengue serotype 2, one serotype 3 and one serotype 4.

Tufton informed that the five to 14-year-old age cohort continues to be the most affected, followed by children one-year-old and younger.

“I am, therefore, urging parents to exercise vigilance with their children and teens and to take the necessary action to reduce the incidences of dengue among this vulnerable population,” he said.

The health minister reminded that dengue is ordinarily a mild disease and that persons may get a fever, headache, joint and muscle pains.

He noted that the illness is often resolved through rest and adequate hydration along with the use of paracetamol to treat the accompanying fever.

 “However, on occasions, the illness can progress to severe dengue, which can result in organ failure, bleeding, and severe fluid depletion that can lead to shock and death. Therefore, it is important for persons experiencing fever, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin, feeling very weak, or getting confused, to seek immediate medical attention,” Tufton advised.

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