Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has hailed the “all-on-deck approach” in the fight against dengue in the parishes of Hanover, St. James, Trelawny and St. Ann.
He said “it is clear that a lot of work has been done by the local municipalities and all the relevant government agencies to tackle a problem that had been threatening to get out of control.”
“I want to say that the presentations that have been made provide a clear indication that these committees have been working as the results are there to be seen,” he noted.
McKenzie was addressing a dengue response team regional meeting at the Grand Palladium Hotel and Resort in Hanover on February 19.
He gave special commendations to St. James, noting that the agencies in the parish “are doing exemplary work that should be replicated across the island.”
“What they are doing there with their approach towards this dengue battle is indicative of a well-run machine and speaks volume to what we expect nationally,” he noted.
McKenzie said that despite the gains, there should be no let-up in the fight against dengue as the virus remains a clear and present danger.
He is urging the business community to be more responsible as it relates to garbage disposal and storage, noting that they should do everything in their power to assist in destroying mosquito breeding sites.
He said that markets and public cemeteries must also get special attention.
“We cannot lower our guard…this is a very serious matter and we have to continue to follow best practices where we take care of our environment and refrain from giving the mosquitoes room in which to operate,” he said.
In addition to representatives from the four municipalities, the meeting included agencies such as National Water Commission (NWC), National Works Agency (NWA), Social Development Commission (SDC), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Jamaica Fire Brigade, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), and the Ministry of Health & Wellness.
The entities provided updates on the initiatives undertaken so far in their respective jurisdictions to combat dengue and gave details of plans for the next month.