'Mosquitoes don't come in green or orange, let's fight dengue together'

'Mosquitoes don't come in green or orange, let's fight dengue together'

By Racquel Porter
Observer reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 27, 2020

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“Mosquitoes do not come in green or orange, the blood is red, and no matter who you are, which party you support, mosquitoes will bite you if you don't do the right thing to prevent it from biting you,” was the rationale Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie used to implore residents to take the dengue virus seriously.

McKenzie, who was addressing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters at the party's Area Council One meeting at the Olympic Gardens Civic Centre in St Andrew West Central, made the call against the background of an increasing number of dengue related deaths across the island.

Stressing that there are citizens who were not taking the threat seriously, McKenzie said sections of the Corporate Area continued to show a high concentration of breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the virus.

“Area Council One, let me reason with you, I want you to take this dengue threat seriously. There are sections of the Corporate Area that continue to show a high concentration of breeding ground… You can help the Government, you can help the country dispose of your garbage in the right and proper way. In my constituency (Kingston, Western) yesterday, before I left, we did some work over one section, but let me tell you something, the work that is in West Kingston and other constituencies to be done is a lot,” McKenzie continued.

“When you look at some of the gullies you have to ask yourself the question: Where is that piece of our brothers and sisters that speak about decency and cleanliness?” he said, stressing that citizens ought to be more responsible.

Highlighting the official launch of the islandwide clean-up campaign on Saturday, the local government minister said the Government would be rolling out another set of programmes for councillors across the island that will end on March 31.

“We need a healthy and a clean society, we need a country that is free from all the various kinds of problems that we see the world is experiencing today, but we have a problem here in Jamaica that we want to better once and for all,” McKenzie stated.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, while noting that the Government had spent millions of dollars on a campaign to inform the public about dengue, said there were citizens who were still of the view that dengue is not a mosquito-borne virus.

“…Yesterday, in Clarendon, while I am there talking about the mosquito being the vector — that means the transmitter of the dengue virus — we met upon two ladies and one of them said, 'Listen, I am just recovering from dengue and mi never feel nuh mosquito bite me, so is not mosquito that gives dengue, is something in the air.' Mi almost say, Lord tek di case but then I realised that it was not she alone. A lot of people believe that and because they believe that they don't feel that, they should do anything about the garbage in their environment,” Holness suggested.

“In this campaign which has to do with dengue and others, you, as members of this political party, you come here and you get informed, but you have to go back out there now and engage the people,” the prime minister urged.

For his part, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams said that even though the prime minister declared a national day for the dengue clean-up programme, communities have a very important role to play in getting rid of breeding sites as Government alone cannot not do it.

“Area Council, we have a duty to do within our communities, we have to go out there and work hard and rid our communities of the breeding sites,” Williams pleaded.


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