Malaria said under control in Ja

The Jamaica Ministry of Health is reporting success in its efforts to contain the deadly malaria disease despite an increase in the number of infected persons moving the total to 59.

Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse, director of emergency and disaster management in the Ministry of Health, said Monday that two more persons from the malaria-infected areas in Kingston have contracted the disease.

Addressing the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Dr. Bullock-DuCasse reported that 75 per cent of the confirmed cases have so far been successfully treated, reports The Gleaner.

“It is the people who are infected with this parasite that go on to infect the mosquitoes who with their next bite, after development of the parasite in the mosquitoes, affect others,” she explained, adding that the ministry was working at every level to achieve full control and return the country to its previous status of no local transmission.

Dr. DuCasse told journalists that adequate supplies of drugs were in the island to treat the disease. The Bahamas and Guyana have donated medication and other supplies, and additional material are expected from the Pan American Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it deployed more than 16 teams over the weekend and carried out major vector control programmes in the affected areas.

Commenting on its public education exercise, Dr. Bullock-DuCasse said the ministry has distributed more than 30,000 flyers to persons in the affected communities.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry stressed that Jamaica was not endemic to malaria and advised persons wishing to travel to the country that no special prophylactic treatment was needed.

Jamaicans visiting countries with malaria are, however, advised to take chemoprophylaxis to prevent infection and further transmission on their return to the island.