“Our main focus is assisting Jamaicans in our communities to clean up our surroundings and reduce mosquito breeding. This is an urgent national task that must involve everybody. Our responsibility to ourselves, our families and our country requires our personal involvement for the long haul”
Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, during a Press Release on Thursday October 9th, 2014 when she announced the $500 Million allocation for a National Health Emergency Response
The Chikungunya Virus is now wreaking havoc on the entire Jamaica as it appears no-one is immune, not even children, as you’d expect they have better immunity to the Chikungunya Virus.
The Chikungunya Virus is now responsible for 30% of children, teaching and administrative staff in all Six (6) Education Regions not turning up for school as noted in the article “Schools Coping With Chikungunya Outbreak” Published Wednesday October 8, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner. The figures, quoted from a Survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and published on Wednesday October 8th, 2014, indicate the following:
1.3,911 students had missed day from school
2.591 teachers had missed day from school
3.2,487 suspected cases in Region One i.e. Kingston and St Andrew, making them the largest single infected region
4.945 suspected cases in Region Two i.e. St Thomas, Portland and St Mary
5.23 suspected cases in Region Five i.e. Manchester and St Elizabeth
Chikungunya Virus and MICO – Do It with Thy Might hard when you can barely walk to Classes
At the MICO University College, in the week of Sunday October 5th 2014, I had at least one class, The Learner We Teach,cancelled because of thisChikungunya Virus. The school population also seems to be a lot less cheery and boisterous under the Tree in Courtyard, as many have apparently been plucked by this unfortunate “chicken gunman”.
Miconians, who live by the motto, “Do It with Thy Might”, are finding it mighty to attend classes regularly when they can barely walk to Classes in the first place!
I’ve stopped carrying my Dell Lattitude D520 Laptop aka R2D2, to MICO University College Campus and sitting under the tree as I’m afraid of being in the open air and getting bitten by another Aedes aegypti Mosquito.
I’ve already gotten the Chikungunya Virus since Friday September 27th 2014 and have long recovered with lifelong immunity to the disease. I only have to deal with a reoccurring rash in an unmentionable region of my body and arthritic pain in my right ankle when I sit down for too long. Not to mention getting Dengue Fever, to which my Chikungunya Virus-weakened immune system is STILL susceptible.
Worse, the mini-cantina (‘cause it’s NOT large enough to be called a Canteen!) closes on the weekend at the MICO University College, forcing me to stay home and do work or go to the Learning Commons or the Computer Lab at the Library. I’m not really fond of the e-Learning Center, as albeit their Computers are fast, they have no Air Conditioning and it’s a trifle hot in that Computer Lab!
Blue Power and the Citronella Soap – Pharmacies cashing in as Portmore is Chikungunya central
As for the Hostel peeps on the Campus of the MICO University College, they’re slowly starting to wear a new cologne called Citronella! Most likely the new Fragrance they’re sporting is either the lotion, which I also use or the new Soap from Blue Power that's infused with Citronella Essence as reported in the article “Mosquito Repellent Soap - The New 'Chik-V Fighter'”, published Saturday October 11, 2014 by Anastasia Cunningham, Gleaner Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.
So what the Ministry of Health doing to prevent the spread of the Chikungunya Virus since Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson appeared on Television on Sunday September 28th 2014 to address concerns regarding the Chikungunya Virus Epidemic? For that we turn to the Horses’ mouth, the Jamaica Information Service.
JA$500 million National Health Emergency Response – GOJ FINALLY serious about the Chikungunya Epidemic
He pointed this out at the official opening and handover ceremony for the upgraded Williamsfield Health Centre in Westmoreland on Friday October 3rd 2014, quote: “Containing and controlling the disease cannot be the responsibility of government alone. Citizens must take responsibility for their own protection and also the protection of those in their households. It requires a comprehensive and integrated approach with government, private sector, citizen associations and the churches, because homes, places of work and places of worship are some of the areas where we see the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes”.
Very true, as in our weakened stated from the Chikungunya Virus infection, we're susceptible to the Dengue Fever, also a Virus carried by the same Aedes aegypti Mosquito. To this end, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, during a Press Release on Thursday October 9th, 2014, relate to the Public the fact that the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) is finally serious about tackling the Chikungunya Virus epidemic.
The JA$500 million is apparently being spent as follows:
1.Free Paracetamlol aka acetaminophen aka Panadol at all public health facilities i.e. DrugServ pharmacies and Public Hospitals
2.Increased Garbage collection by NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority)
3.Extending the opening hours of SERHA (South Eastern Regional Health Authority) and possibly NERHA (North Eastern Regional Health Authority) to 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
4.Preparing for the Ebola Virus should it come to Jamaica
She also extolled Jamaicans to assist the drive by the Ministry of Health and the JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Program) Secretariat to do their part to clean up their communities so as to eradicate the Breeding sites for Mosquitoes.
Portmore and National Health Emergency Response – Clean Gullies with JEEP Election money
The specific areas targeted for the cleanup in Portmore, St. Catherine are:
Apparently Portmore Residents will have to make sure to get rid of all appliances i.e. refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, microwave ovens, etc that can collect water and act as breeding ground for mosquitoes. The NSWMA will be coming around with Garbage Trucks to collect these items and the PHD will be doing Vector Control. Hope that means draining those huge canals as mosquitoes can breed in ANY type of standing water, be it stagnant or potable.
The specific communities within the Old Braeton area being targeted areas follows:
3.Dream Land Drive
By Thursday, October 16th 2014 and Friday, October 17th 2014 the cleanup will extend to the following areas in the Gregory Park community:
I say “amusingly” in light of high level indifference to Garbage collection in that Parish despite the very same encouraging blocked drains and thus creating breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti Mosquito.