Mosquito eradication drive in Kitson Town
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says mosquito-borne diseases are a worldwide concern and that the insects should be treated as "public enemy" number one.
"I am of the view that it should be taught in the schools. This has gone beyond a few persons trying to inform and educate persons to be more aware," Dr Tufton said.
Dr Tufton said the ministry is now working with the University of the West Indies, Mona to carry out research on tropical medicines to be developed to fight the vectors.
He was addressing residents at the Kitson Town Baptist Church in St Catherine recently at the launch of Operation Mosquito Search and Destroy, a programme geared towards educating the residents about the dangers the insects can pose.
Dr Tufton said the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the most deadly carrier of fatal mosquito-borne diseases and have caused many deaths worldwide.
"With 8,000 confirmed cases of mosquito-related diseases, one case of a child born with birth defects, and a malaria case, it is very important that we continue to revitalise the awareness of the residents," Dr Tufton said.
Acting director of health promotion and protection, Dr Beverly Wright, said the emphasis is on St Catherine.
HIGH BREEDING SITE
"We realise that the first case of ZIKV and malaria were found in this parish, and the Old Road community of Kitson Town is being observed as a high breeding site due to the drums and the high vegetation," Dr Wright said.
"We are very glad that this drive is happening as we have a mosquito problem in Old Road that needs to be addressed. I hope that the residents will use the meshes given [personnel from the Ministry of Health, the National Youth Service and Red Cross, and community volunteers] to them to place on their drums," Cristina Edwards, a community member, said.