Tuesday 20 October, 2020

St Ann Health Dept reports good news about dengue, mosquitoes

The sustained efforts of the St Ann Health Department and other agencies to rid the parish of mosquito- breeding sites have resulted in a decline in the number of dengue cases there.

This was revealed by Chief Public Health Inspector, Leroy Scott, while addressing Thursday's monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation in St Ann's Bay.

Scott disclosed that for the month of December, there was a significant increase in the number of premises inspected by the health department.

"During the period under review, that is December, 44 communities were visited, (during) which we inspected a total of 16,143 premises. That was a 4.9 per cent increase over the previous month. Except for the container index, all the other indices for mosquito breeding are showing declines," he explained.

Scott commended the temporary workers who have been employed under the vector control programme, and were subsequently assigned to various communities in St Ann, for their "continuous efforts" in encouraging "the householders to remove the mosquito breeding sources".

Another factor Scott cited for the decline in the mosquito population, was the cooler temperature that is generally associated with the winter season.

"Also, the cooler temperatures that we are in now as we move into the winter season, are less conducive to mosquito breeding," Scott said.

Meanwhile, he said the St Ann Health Department will not let up in its fight against destroying mosquito breeding sites and reducing cases of dengue. He said a multi-sector approach is now being promoted in collaboration with stakeholders, including the health ministry and the local authority.

Additionally, the chief health inspector announced that the vector control programme which was implemented last year, has been extended for another 15 weeks. This, he said, will allow further penetration of various communities in an effort to rid them of mosquito breeding sites.

The decline in mosquitoes is welcomed news for the parish, as at a meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation in November last year, Scott revealed that four cases of suspected dengue deaths were recorded in October. Three deaths had been recorded for November of 2019, up to the time of that meeting last year.

In light of the severity of the dengue outbreak at that time, Scott said the health department had embarked on a multifaceted approach aimed at fighting the disease.

He said the approach included a public education campaign, interaction with students in schools, as well as community engagements to sensitise residents about dengue, primarily how to eradicate mosquito breeding sites from their surroundings.

The fruits of those efforts seemingly now being seen with the announcement of declines in both dengue cases and mosquito breeding sites.

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