The Ministry of Health has received a total of 1,000 mosquito nets from the United Nations Children’s Fund to assist in its efforts to quell the malaria out-break.
Director of Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse, noted that the nets are part of a shipment of 3,000 from the UN agency, the rest of which should arrive by the end of the year.
The nets are dissimilar to regular mosquito nets as they are equipped with a small amount of insecti-cide. The insecticide is safe for close contact with hu-mans, but kills mosquitoes or deters them from feast-ing on human blood.
Dr. Bullock-Ducasse said 500 of the nets would be handed over to the Kingston and St. Andrew Public Health Department for distribution to affected communities.
“Persons who are sus-pected to have malaria, and others who have been con-firmed as having the dis-ease, will be given top pri-ority when the health team commences distributing the nets,” she said.
Dr. Bullock-Ducasse also said the Health Minis-try would be seeking the assistance of the Members of Parliament, councillors and community leaders in distributing the remainder of the current shipment of nets in the affected areas.
In addition to distribut-ing the nets, Dr. Bullock-Ducasse said, 6,000 con-tainers of insect repellents would also be given to communities in the affected areas.
Acting Chief Medical Of-ficer Sheila Campbell-Forrester has urged per-sons to use the nets cor-rectly.
“We encourage persons not to sleep on the nets. Make sure that the net is not touching the skin,” she advised.
She further implored persons to take responsibil-ity for their health. “No matter where you move to in Jamaica, you are going to have mosquitoes at this time, and they carry dis-eases such as dengue fever and malaria, so the same precautions apply whether you are on the bus, street or at a family gathering,” she said.
The precautions include wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, light-coloured clothing and using insect repellent.