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Hanover, Trelawny ‘quite safe’ on dengue front

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Hanover, Trelawny ‘quite safe’ on dengue front

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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LUCEA, Hanover — The parishes of Hanover and Trelawny currently have the least number of suspected dengue cases being handled in the western region, which also includes St James and Westmoreland.

The disclosure was made by medical officer of health for Hanover, Dr Kaushal Singh, who was addressing the general monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation last week Thursday.

Dr Singh said both parishes are doing well.

“In the western region, Hanover and Trelawny, we are at the bottom in terms of the suspected dengue cases. So, basically, we are quite safe right now. But this is really a dynamic situation due to the complex interaction with the environment, the solid waste institution, all these things. That is why we want our efforts to continue,” Dr Singh stated.

Last December, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton and other officials said that the island is experiencing an outbreak of dengue, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

But in Hanover there were only 26 suspected cases for 2018.

“I will assure you that the situation is under control. In 2018 we had 26 (suspected) cases notified, and out of those 26 we didn’t have any confirmed cases. Out of these 26, 11 were from the Lucea health district. Our first suspected case, we got it in the middle of the year; and then we got more cases around late October and November, then we had a decline. The last week of December into the first week of January, we did not have any notifications of suspected dengue cases,” the medical officer of health for Hanover said.

During a recent site visit to Westmoreland and St James, the minister of health disclosed that Westmoreland recorded 117 suspected cases in 2018, four of which were confirmed, while St James had 20 suspected cases, one of which was confirmed to be dengue.

In speaking to the meeting last week about the situation in Hanover, Dr Singh said more than 9,000 premises were inspected between October and December, of which a little over 1,400 had the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Dr Singh cited the lack of piped water, which results in improper storage of water and solid waste, as the main contributing factor to mosquito breeding.

“We need to double our effort, otherwise we are going to lose what we have secured up to now. So, for that, we have increased our task workers from nine to 30,”said Dr Singh, who added that the workers will undertake fogging and larvicidal activities in the Lucea and Green Island areas of the parish.

Lucea and Green Island are among three communities that have been identified as high-risk areas. The other is Hopewell.

Meanwhile, Hanover Health Department’s Parish Manager Dawn Harvey told last Thursday’s corporation meeting that her department has only one vehicle to undertake vector control activities across the parish, and was in need of support in getting additional vehicles and also assistance to communicate the dengue sensitisation message to the public. She also said the health department was in need of assistance to purchase more fogging machines.

“There are a couple of things that will help us to be more visible (in the communities), and one of those is transportation,” Harvey said. “So, we are seeking some help in terms of vehicles that could be made available to us so that we can transport our workers… Also, if there is any other way that persons would like to help us, in terms of purchasing some equipment, we have fogging machines, but we need more to help you,” she said.

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