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Multi Pronged  Approach in St. Ann to Tackle Dengue

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Montego Bay September 19 (JIS) – The St. Ann Health Department has adopted a multipronged approach in the fight against dengue fever as the parish reports an increase in suspected cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on September 14, Medical Officer of Health for St. Ann, Dr. Tamika Henry, said although the country is not currently in outbreak mode, the parish is on high alert due to the endemic nature of dengue in Jamaica.

She explained that the multipronged strategy includes surveillance, case management, health education, human resource reinforcement, larvicidal and adulticidal activities, source reduction, external stakeholder engagement, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.

Active and passive surveillance methods are being employed to detect suspected cases early. This involves healthcare personnel actively searching for symptoms at hospitals and health centres, ensuring prompt intervention when necessary.

“We have a nurse that is stationed at the hospital; she’s our hospital active surveillance nurse. She goes from ward to ward, as well as in the outpatient department, accident and emergency, looking to see if there’s anybody who matches the case definition for dengue because, of course, we want to pick up things very early,” Dr. Henry said.

She noted that the health department has bolstered its human resources, employing 26 permanent vector control workers across its five health districts.

To manage the situation effectively, high-risk communities have been identified and targeted for intervention by workers, including larvicidal activities aimed at mosquito breeding sites.

Dr. Henry outlined that health education and promotion efforts are widespread, involving various public health nurses, public health inspectors and community health aides.

“We have public health nurses going out. Public health inspectors are in their zonal areas on a day-to-day basis; they, too, do health education. We have our Community Health Aides, who have been doing house-to-house visits, reminding persons about searching and destroying,” she said.

Dr. Henry noted that the Ministry of Education and Youth is also engaged, with dengue lesson plans being implemented in schools.

“One of our age groups of concern is five to 14. So, we engage with them [Ministry] and they have again rolled out their dengue lesson plan in the schools, and the children are doing their search-and-destroy activity during their activity session,” she added.

Since the start of 2023, St. Ann has received 17 notifications of suspected dengue cases. One case has been confirmed that involves a 13-year-old male who presented with fever, headache, eye pain, and nausea.

Dr. Henry disclosed that nearly half of these cases, approximately 48 per cent, match the case definition for dengue, a significant increase compared to 2022.

In 2022, the parish had 10 reported cases with only one being confirmed as dengue fever.

“More males are being reported than females in 2023, and we recognise that there are two particular age groups of concern – 5 to 14 age group, that is our primary school going up to our high school, as well as our 24 to 44 age group,” Dr. Henry shared.

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RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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PM Proposes Municipal Status for Negril

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#MontegoBay, Jamaica, July 13, 2024 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has highlighted the need for Negril to have its own local authority, which will enable the town to better manage its affairs.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking to members of the Negril business community and other stakeholders on July 12, said the resort town has outgrown its current governance structure, posing challenges both to infrastructure and administration.

“Negril as a town is growing far beyond its infrastructure, it is also growing far beyond the system set up for local governance. Our system is that the towns are within a parish and the boundaries determine which local authority has control over the town,” Mr. Holness said.

“We will now have to do the necessary consultations and make the necessary legislative changes to give Negril its own Municipality. Towns and cities must be managed and managed from a local level,” he added

The Prime Minister said that due to the growth and expansion of Negril, the town has crossed over from Westmoreland into Hanover, leaving the question as to who is in charge.

“Based on all the communications I have received the stakeholders want to do things for themselves in Negril. I know there will be a challenge because of the parish boundaries, but we will have to work that out. Currently both Westmoreland and Hanover can take ownership, leaving the question as to who really is in charge,” he added.

Mr. Holness said that while there have been discussions on the matter in the past, it was time to give Negril its own Municipality.

“I know when we talk about this, especially for those who don’t live in Negril, there are indeed questions as why we would want to do this and upset the governance architecture that currently exist,” the Prime Minister added.

“Where the problem lies is where the solution should be. If the proper structure is put in place, I am convinced you could see an improvement in how the town is managed. Negril is going through what Portmore went through…to manage its own affairs. Any superior authority should empower the residents to do things for themselves. Negril has also outgrown not only it’s physical infrastructure but its management structure,” Mr. Holness further noted.

Negril, renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant tourism industry, has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years.

 

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

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Repair Bill for Trelawny Estimated at $30 Million

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#MontegoBay, Jamaica, July 13, 2024 – The Trelawny Municipal Corporation is reporting a preliminary repair cost of $30 million, due to the impact of hurricane beryl on the parish.

Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collen Gager made the disclosure during the Corporation’s monthly meeting held on Thursday (July 11).

He said that the damages were minimized due to the massive drain cleaning work carried out early in the hurricane season, across the nine divisions in the parish.

He stated that emphasis was placed on the clearance of storm drains, culverts and sink holes, particularly those in flood-prone areas.

“I must emphasize that we were well prepared…and we must also note… how quickly the roads …were cleared,” Mayor Gager stated.

He credited the relatively low repair bill to the work done by the Corporation’s Disaster Preparedness team, other members of staff and volunteers before and after the hurricane.

“I could see the councillors…from all nine divisions …out working after the storm…seeing to the welfare of residents,” Mayor Gager said.

He also informed that major damage was done to the Trelawny Infirmary, the nearby building which houses the Poor Relief Department, the roof of the Falmouth Market, and the recently established Falmouth Transportation Centre.

The Mayor however said that repair works were already underway.

He projected that ongoing sanitizing of the male and female wards, kitchen and bathrooms, as well as repairing the perimeter fence to the infirmary property should be completed within days.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gager said he was pleased that Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie has committed funds for repairs to the market.

This, he said, would contribute to maintaining public order in restricting the selling of agricultural produce and other consumer goods to that space.

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS       

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