St. Ann Municipal Corporation launches $10m dengue response programme
Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, speaking at the launch of a Dengue Response Programme for St. Ann held at Ocean Village Shopping Centre in Ocho Rios.
The St. Ann Municipal Corporation has launched a $10-million Dengue Response Programme to bolster the fight against the mosquito-borne disease in the parish.
The programme will be rolled out over the next three months across all 16 divisions in the parish.
As part of the drive, each councillor will be allocated approximately $300,000 to eradicate mosquito breeding sites in their divisions.
The initiative kicked off on Saturday, February 15 with a clean-up exercise in the resort town of Ocho Rios, targeting high-risk communities, including Mansfield Heights, Lime Bottom, Pimento Walk and Great Pond.
Speaking at the launch on Friday at the Ocean Village Shopping Centre, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, said that some 100 vector-control workers will be employed under the programme to undertake public education activities across the parish.
“They will move house-to-house distributing flyers that will depict how to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito. They will be looking at how people live in terms of the disposal of garbage, old fridges and stoves and containers,” he noted.
He said that another component of the programme is the staging of town halls, the first of which will be held in the Bensonton division on Thursday (February 20).
“In every single division within the parish of St. Ann, we’ll be doing a town hall meeting to sensitise individuals about the cleaning up and maintenance, and to raise awareness about dengue,” he noted.
Mayor Belnavis said that the Municipal Corporation will acquire a vehicle to carry out fogging activities, adding that drum covers will also be distributed to householders.
He urged residents to support the Corporation’s thrust to rid their communities of mosquito breeding sites.
Meanwhile, Dr Tamika Henry of the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), said the St. Ann Health Department continues to take a proactive approach in the fight against dengue.
She noted that while the parish has seen a decline in the number of suspected cases of the virus, “continued community engagement, participation, and inter-sectoral collaboration will further militate against the spread of the disease”.
Dr Henry said that in 2019, vector-control workers visited between 15,000 and 18,000 homes on a monthly basis to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites.