Some people's backyards are like unused swimming pools

Some people's backyards are like unused swimming pools

McKenzie joins calls for J'cans to destroy mosquito breeding sites to fight dengue

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny – Another Cabinet minister has appealed to citizens to help in the nation's fight against dengue – caused by bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito – as the Government steps up its campaign against the outbreak of the deadly mosquito-borne virus.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie has made an impassioned plea to citizens to play their part in the eradication of mosquito breeding sites around their homes and communities.

Said McKenzie: “We as elected representatives have the responsibility to respond to this dengue outbreak, but equally the people have a responsibility to be responsive to how they operate. There are many cases where people's backyards are [like] unused swimming pools. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” the local government minister said.

“Let me urge you, ladies and gentlemen, in your own way, to help us to help you – because collectively we need to respond to this dengue outbreak that is affecting the country.”

The local government minister, at the same time, warned that Government would not sit idly by and allow residents in some communities to chase away personnel employed by the State to carry out vector-control duties.

“Despite the attempt by the authorities, in some cases people drive them out of their yards and draw machetes on them. I want to give a warning that the Government is going to respond in a positive way to persons who obstruct workers who are executing their responsibility to rid this country of the dengue epidemic that is taking over the country,” McKenzie stated.

He said that as Government intensifies its efforts to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease, his ministry and the Ministry of Health and Wellness will on Friday, December 27 stage a meeting with stakeholders to launch another phase of a massive mosquito eradication programme. All mayors and CEOs of municipal corporations will be invited to attend.

“We have to play our role in the fight against dengue. We are putting out this programme and we are going to touch all the areas in Jamaica,“ said McKenzie, who said Government has data on the areas where the dengue cases are high.

The local government minister was speaking at a town hall meeting at the Falmouth Municipal Corporation in Trelawny last week. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.

Minister McKenzie called on councillors to take a page from his book and sensitise residents in their respective divisions to join the vector control fight, as he has done in his Kingston Western constituency.

“...I took a sound truck and I went around the entire constituency advising the people to take out all your bulky waste, everything that you have that can breed mosquitoes, and put them on the roadside – and they responded. There can be a similar approach [in other area],” the minister said.

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