#Kingston, February 20, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says proper disposal of solid waste is critical to controlling the mosquito population and reducing related diseases.
According to the Minister, persons must adjust their approach and behaviour and manage their surroundings, as mosquito-borne diseases will remain a “potential threat” to the health and well-being of many persons.
Dr. Tufton was delivering the keynote address at the opening of a seminar looking at the impact of dengue fever, organised by Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) and held today (February 19) at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston. The Minister pointed out that the Aedes aegypti mosquito index is “linked directly to how citizens treat with their solid waste”.
Noting that some 80 per cent of mosquito breeding sites are created by the actions of individuals in their homes, the Minister said while moral suasion and public education are being used to change approaches, persons will be forced to comply with the law.
“We are going to throw the books at persons who, by harbouring these sites through improper disposal, create nuisance and public health threat to not just themselves but to others around them,” the Minister said.
Dr. Tufton said the country is still in an “outbreak mode” with the dengue fever, and persons should continue to manage their health carefully, as the impact on the health system and the workforce is heavy. He called for more partnerships to tackle the problem, describing it as a “challenge that won’t go away”.
The forum was also addressed by several experts who spoke on a number of topics, including ‘The Epidemiology of Dengue Fever’, ‘Diagnosis and Treatment Protocols’, ‘Infection Control’, ‘Pest Management Control’, and ‘Impact on Worker and Community Productivity’.
The impact of the illness on communities and sectors of the economy was also explored in a panel discussion.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus
Photo Captions: Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, addresses a seminar on the impact of dengue fever, organised by Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) and held today (February 19), at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston. Seated at right is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the company, Audrey Hinchcliffe
Photo by Mark Bell