Saturday 25 January, 2020

KSAMC moves to reduce dengue in the Corporate Area

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) has reported putting in place several measures during October to assist with the fight against the dengue virus which has been plaguing the island and has placed a strain on the health services.

According to Dr Kimberley Myers, Medical Officer of Health for the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department, among the measures taken were vector control, an increase in the number of vehicles in the department, and having specific health centres and clinics open for longer hours during weekdays, as well as on weekends.

Addressing the Parish Disaster Preparedness and Public Health Committee on Wednesday at the KSAMC’s office in downtown Kingston, Myers said the health department now has a fleet of six vehicles, moving up from four. Among the two new vehicles is a pick-up truck that is assigned specifically for vector control.

She said the health department has worked with the Department of Correctional Services Jamaica (DCSJ) to assist in the elimination of larvae and adult mosquitoes at a correctional facility where there were suspected cases of dengue.

Four swing foggers were also acquired, which increased the ability of workers to walk through communities and do fogging.

Myers said community health aides (CHA) and vector workers have also visited schools, communities and shopping areas, searching for breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spreads the dengue virus. Students and staff members of the facilities were also educated and trained about the virus.

She said the increase in the number of individuals seeking medical attention has spurred the Nannyville Health Centre to extend its opening hours on a Monday, with the new hours being 8am to 8pm. A recommendation was made for other health facilities to be open on Saturdays.

According to Myers, the vigilance of the health department has caused tyre shops in the Corporate Area to be taking measures to prevent mosquitoes breeding by covering or removing tyres.

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