It was all hands on deck as the Ministry of Health’s National Cleanup Day dubbed ‘Operation: Mosquito Search and destroy’ began on Saturday February 20 in Reid’s Pen and Rivoli in St. Catherine. Ministry of Health officials, stakeholders, partners, vector control workers and volunteers turned out at the meeting point at the Portmore Municipality office at the Portmore Pines Plaza to intensify public awareness on the zika virus.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye reiterated the reason for the National Cleanup Day. “We continue to see an increase in mosquito breeding and because fogging only kills about thirty (30) percent of adult mosquitoes it is crucial that we consistently search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites”. Dr. De La Haye also highlighted that the National Cleanup day which will be executed in other parishes is “aimed at motivating the public to get all Jamaicans involved in the cleanup effort specifically destroying the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses and which is found in and around the homes”.
The National Cleanup Day initiative encouraged residents in St. Catherine and across the island to take out bulky waste such as old refrigerators and stoves to be picked up by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes.
Some of the stakeholders and partners who supported the National Cleanup Day included the NSWMA, the Social Development Commission (SDC), the JDF, the JCF, the Portmore Municipal Council, St. Catherine Parish Council, and Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).