Jamaicans encouraged to participate in national dengue eradication drive

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton (Photo: Donald De La Haye, JIS)

The Government is calling on households across the island to participate in the upcoming national clean-up days later this month, geared towards eradicating mosquito breeding sites and beautifying communities.

At a town hall meeting hosted by the Government at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, Portland, on Thursday (Jan. 9), Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton, said the activities will be led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“On the 24th, the 25th and the 26th of this month, Minister [Olivia] Grange and all the rest of us [Government Ministers] will have a National Clean-up Day, in recognition of ridding the country of solid waste as part of the dengue eradication drive,” Dr. Tufton said.

“We want all citizens of Jamaica to be a part of that. We want every homeowner to look around their yards, take out the solid waste, put them out front and we are going to be working with National Solid Waste Management Authority and all the other agencies to rid this country of solid waste, because solid waste is a major cause of the dengue crisis that we face,” he added.

Residents of Portland listen to a presentation at a Town Hall Meeting, hosted by the Government on Thursday (January 9) at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio. (Photo: Donald De La Haye, JIS)

The Health Minister noted dengue “is a real challenge” and that Jamaicans must “approach in a real way”.

“Dengue is endemic to Jamaica, because of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito is the [deadliest] vector we have in the world; two million people globally per year are killed by the virus or otherwise that the mosquito transmits,” Dr. Tufton said.

“We have to live with it; we have to coexist with it, but what we can do, is control the population, and control the ability of the Aedes aegypti mosquito to breed and to expand,” he added.