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West Kingston Residents Receive Mosquito Nets And Container Lids

West Kingston Residents Receive Mosquito Nets And Container Lids
Local Government and Community Development Minister and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Hon. Desmond McKenzie (2nd right); and Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney (left), hand over a mosquito net to Tivoli Gardens resident, Tara Clarke (2nd left), who is holding her newborn. Sharing the moment is Director of the Environmental Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Everton Baker. Several residents of West Kingston were presented with mosquito nets and water container covers during a ceremony held on April 11 at Tivoli Gardens Community Centre in Kingston.
(Media Credit: Michael Sloley)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), on Tuesday (April 11), distributed mosquito nets and lids for water storage containers to residents of West Kingston. The intervention, under the agency’s $3-million SUPER 18 Zik-V Project, aims to minimise exposure to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for spreading diseases such as the chikungunya and Zika viruses and dengue fever. A total of 1,000 bed nets are to be distributed to communities across the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Ann, St. James and Westmoreland, which are beneficiaries of the World Bank-funded Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP). Some 2,500 specialised lids for covering water storage containers are also to be provided. It is estimated that approximately 3,500 persons in 30 communities will be directly impacted by the project and another 140,000 indirect beneficiaries. Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who is Member of Parliament for West Kingston, lauded the sustained vector-control efforts by JSIF in the ICDP beneficiary communities.

“The work of JSIF has gone a far way in increasing knowledge of vector-borne diseases and has given more visibility to these communities… . We have seen the difference the Project has made in these areas as well as more involvement in community development by residents,” he said.

He was speaking at the handover ceremony at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre.

Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the initiative is just one of several interventions being carried out by the Fund to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

“These diseases are still around and we have a commitment to assist with protecting the most vulnerable in our society, which would be the newborns and pregnant mothers,” he said.

Director of Environmental Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Everton Baker, who brought greetings, said the “distribution of these nets and lids will reduce the risk of these individuals being bitten by mosquitoes by reducing exposure”.

He also urged residents to rid their surroundings of breeding sites for mosquito.

The SUPER 18 Zik-V Project requires that residents voluntarily participate in clean-up exercises to rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites.

Community environmental wardens will contribute to the project by cleaning the communities daily; educating residents about solid waste management and enforcing the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Act.

It involves partnership with the Ministry of Health, several community-based organisations and residents.