Health ministry intensified dengue prevention activities, Tufton insists

by Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton today insisted in Parliament that his ministry has intensified its dengue prevention and control activities since the start of this year.

Tufton’s declaration follows claims made by the Opposition Shadow Minister on Health Dr Morais Guy earlier this morning that there is an “ever increasing spike” in the number of dengue cases across Jamaica, particularly in the mid-island parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth. Guy added that there has been no visible fogging in communities.

“This situation has intensified with the recent drought situation and the recent periods of rainfall. The ministry’s current response to the outbreak is a multi-approach which includes … vector control measures, enhanced surveillance, public relations and education, case management, a multi-sectoral response, collaboration with PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation) and provision of additional funding,” Tufton told the House of Representatives.

According to Tufton, in addition to intensification of dengue prevention and control activities in January 2019, there was further intensification in July and September.

He noted that the ministry has activated its national emergency operation centre to coordinate and report on the response activities relating to the increasing numbers of dengue cases.

He said that the ministry continues in its vigilance to keep the public safe from vector-borne diseases, including dengue.

But Guy in response told Parliament today that whatever measures were being implemented by the health ministry were not effective.

“When you find that even on social media relatives of a doctor are asking people to come and donate blood because he’s in hospital— as a consequence of dengue, we recognize that things are not right in this country,” Guy argued.