Health authorities prioritise early-childhood facilities

September 29, 2023

The St Catherine Health Department is paying special attention to early-childhood facilities and the surrounding communities, to ensure that the children are given extra protection against the dengue outbreak.

Medical officer of health for the parish, Dr Francia Prosper Chen, said that children are particularly vulnerable to the illness, and they are being prioritised in the emergency response, as well as high-risk communities in the parish, which include farming areas. Areas for immediate attention are urban communities with large populations, garages, tyre shops, and the school communities.

"We are looking for breeding sites and destroying them. We have to look into our farming communities because these areas store a lot of water, and water storage becomes critical to breeding," she added. Prosper Chen said that, come next week, drum covers will be distributed across the parish. She said weekends are earmarked for fogging at schools and the health educators will shortly engage students at their schools on ways to keep themselves safe from mosquitoes.

Prosper Chen noted that she has sent a letter to the St Catherine Municipal Corporation asking for the parish's dengue committee to be revamped and to take on issues like solid waste management and informal settlements, "where we tend to have some challenges with water storage and solid waste".

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