01 Mar JEP Introduce 1800 Tilapia in Old Harbour Bay Gullies to Reduce Spread of Dengue
Due to the recent influx of dengue-related illnesses and deaths in Jamaica, JEP took the initiative to launch a mosquito eradication programme in Old Harbour Bay.
We engaged the Public Health Department and the Aquaculture Branch of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) to establish a partnership for this cause. To raise awareness of this disease, as well as how to prevent and contain its spread, JEP’s CSR committee hosted a sensitization meeting at the Old Harbour Bay Community Centre. We also collaborated with the AG-CHEM Company Ltd., who donated 24 bottles of mosquito repellent. The bottles were distributed at the meeting.
JEP/WKPP’s Public and Community Relations Specialist, Melissa Newman, delivered the opening remarks and introduced our guest speakers. Among the guest speakers at the meeting were: General Public Health Inspector from the Public Health Department, Simeon Broomfield; and Dehaan Brown, Research Officer at the Aquaculture Branch of MICAF. Mr Broomfield shared the facts and symptoms of dengue fever, while Mr Brown educated the residents about capitalizing on the use of tilapia fish in this programme as well as its role. JEP’s Store Clerk, Mekeisha Morris, shared her experience as a parent who has a 2-year-old son that was infected with the dreadful disease. She encouraged other parents to carefully monitor their children: watch out for dengue symptoms, carry them to the doctor if they suspect that their child has been infected, and ensure that the correct drugs are prescribed. A live demonstration on how to use the mosquito repellent, especially on children and babies, was carried out by PR & Digital Marketing Specialist, Moya-Mae Rose.
Community representative and company contractor, Lanswell McLeod, supervised the JEP-sponsored clearing of the gullies; after which, our partners from the Aquaculture Branch, deposited close to two thousand tilapia fish into the cleared gullies within the community. This was done to significantly reduce the number of larvae that exist in these waters. A larvae count will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of this environmentally friendly approach to reducing the reproduction of these vectors.