Health Minister wants Jamaicans to get serious about dengue fight

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is appealing for Jamaicans to take a more proactive approach in the fight against dengue.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton

Climate change

This, he said, is in light of climate change and other environmental factors, which will result in mosquito-borne diseases becoming more frequent and aggressive.

The Minister, who was speaking at the Southern Regional Health Authority’s (SRHA) Dengue Awareness Town Hall in Junction, St Elizabeth, on October 24, said it is therefore imperative that persons become more vigilant about destroying mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes in order to safeguard their health.

“Since most of the breeding sites are around the home, you have to be vigilant as a community.”

— Tufton

Home environment

He noted that 80 per cent of breeding sites are found in the home environment.

“We need to get Jamaicans to understand that the infectious mosquito that carries the dengue is here to stay, it’s endemic. While in the past, we use to have seasonality in terms of when mosquitos are more often seen, because of the way climatic conditions have changed, they will come out any month of the year, any day of the week any time of the day,” he said.

Work collectively

Tufton said that persons must work individually and collectively in eradicating mosquito breeding grounds.

“You have to be your neighbour’s keeper. You have to take a community approach. Since most of the breeding sites are around the home, you have to be vigilant as a community. That’s why we say to people, you are the best defence in preventing dengue,” he said.

Tufton also reassured Jamaicans that the Government will continue to enhance and expand its vector control activities in the fight against dengue. In addition, the Ministry has increased its public education campaign on prevention of the disease.