The Jamaican government is moving swiftly to contain the malaria outbreak, with Cabinet approving $30.2 million to provide an emergency response to the life-threatening disease.
Information Minister Donald Buchanan acknowledged at yesterdays postCabinet press briefing at Jamaica House that the Government recognised that if the mosquitoborne disease is not managed decisively it could have serious consequences.
He told journalists that Health Minister, Horace Dalley, would make a comprehensive statement to Parliament today on the Governments response.
Meanwhile, some residents in areas where malaria cases have been identified say they are concerned that the disease might spread rapidly in their communities, even as the Ministry of Health is insisting that they have the infectious disease under control.
The Health Ministry has identified cases of malaria in the Kingston communities of Delacree Park, Denham Town, Trench Town and Tivoli Gardens, as well as two cases in Sydenham Villas, St. Catherine.
“I am very concerned because anything can happen,” Arnold Dushing, a resident of Tivoli Gardens, told The Gleaner yesterday. He said he learned of the malaria cases in his area on Sunday.
He added: “But they are not going to control the problem if they don’t sort out the (May Pen) cemetery because when the rain falls, the place is filled with water, so they need to clean it up.”
But Mr. Dushing said he was ensuring that he did not provide a breeding ground for the mosquitoes by not keeping any water in his backyard.
When The Gleaner visited Tivoli Gardens yesterday, officials from the Ministry of Health were seen conducting house to house surveys.
The residents say a blocked drain in the area has resulted in the overflow of sewage on Ferguson Square. They noted that the authorities have been called in but there seems to be a dispute as to whose responsibility it is to address the problem.