Health Ministry Responds to Increase in Mosquito Breeding Sites – Funds Allocation to Assist with Vector Control – No Imminent Threat

With flooding in several parishes and communities resulting from the recent rains, the Ministry of Health has provided an additional $16 million to procure supplies and employ temporary workers to supplement existing Vector Control Workers in carrying out increased duties. The parishes include St. Ann, Portland, St. Mary, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Trelawny, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine, those most affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding.

The Ministry’s  heightened vector control activities includes oiling where there is pooling of water, monitoring for the Anopheline mosquito, increased fogging and larvicidal activities in the affected areas. Educational material related to the control of nuisance mosquitoes have been developed and supplies have been distributed where needed.  The Ministry of Health will be collaborating with key stakeholders including other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and Pest Control Operators to increase their response capacity.

 

Proposed Vector Control Activities

The seasonal increase in vector-borne diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito commences in June each year.   In this regard, the Ministry intends to hire 500 additional temporary workers to do educational and larvicidal activities throughout the months of June to August 2017 (please see table below). Reduction in the number of mosquitoes results in the reduced risk for transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. These additional activities are estimated to cost $65 million; $45M for Temporary Workers and $20M for supplies.

 

Proposed Allocation of Temporary Workers by Parish

No. Parish No. of Workers
1. Kingston and St. Andrew 70 (*6 to Vector Lab)
2. St. Thomas 20
3. St. Catherine 60
4. Clarendon 50
5. Manchester 50
6. St. Elizabeth 40
7. Westmoreland 30
8. Hanover 30
9. Trelawny 30
10. St. James 40
11. St. Ann 30
12. St. Mary 30
13 Portland 20
  Total 500

The Ministry of Health is making it clear that there are no current indications of an outbreak of any vector-borne diseases.  The Ministry will however continue to monitor vector-borne disease conditions locally and globally and will respond appropriately. 

The public is still being reminded to take the necessary precautions to reduce and/or eliminate all mosquito breeding sites in and around homes and communities.