KSAMC councillors hurl dengue complaints at health minister

KSAMC councillors hurl dengue complaints at health minister

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS
Observer writer
edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Despite the enhanced response of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to the dengue outbreak, People’s National Party (PNP) Councillor Dennis Gordon (Maxfield Division) complained to Minister Dr Christopher Tufton yesterday that there had been no fogging in his division for 10 months.


“Maxfield Park has three major gullies and 13 drains, and with the significant drought  there are citizens storing uncovered water. However, in 10 months Maxfield Park has seen no vector person and there has been no fogging. So I am not dazzled by the data,” Gordon said, during a ministry briefing session with Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation councillors.


Councillor Venetia Williams (PNP, Papine Division) requested that Dr Tufton revisit the dengue cases statistics in her division. She said that there has been a significant number of children in August Town and Goldsmith Villa affected by dengue.


Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor Susan Senior (Norbrook Division) suggested that the ministry set up a dengue hotline.


Dr Tufton said that although it was a good idea, people who feel sick should go to a doctor.


He said that the deaths from dengue resulted from people delaying their decision to “go to the doctor”.


Dr Tufton had earlier told the councillors that the ministry had given each Member of Parliament a $1-million allocation for vector control measures, and this had been bolstered by the additional $3 million allocated by the prime minister to each constituency.


However, Councillor Audrey Smith Facey (PNP, Payne Land Division) said that the $500,000 allocation each councillor had received for dengue-related measures was not enough. The councillors should “not have to beg MPs for funds” for dengue problems, Smith Facey said.


Meanwhile Dr Tufton, who told the councillors that the Ministry of Health and Wellness would be “stepping up fogging”, said that 36 new vehicles would be deployed in the programme in another week. In addition, a clean-up day was being planned by the ministry in collaboration with the Labour Day team for early 2020.


He said that the dengue outbreak could not be solved by one ministry or agent. The collaboration and coordination of several agencies was needed, he said.


Ministry officials who accomapnied Dr Tufton to the meeting told the councillors that to stop the dengue outbreak Jamaicans would have to become more committed to the programmes.


They said citizens could help by contributing through bushing and making reports of breeding areas to the authorities.


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