Health workers assigned to do fogging in Portland threatened

PORT ANTONIO, Portland — After a team assigned to Belle Castle was forced to beat a hasty retreat recently, health officials in Portland are appealing to residents to allow them to do fogging in 15 communities that are at high risk for dengue.

“The following communities are considered high risk as the indices are more than 51 so far this year: Norwich, Industry, Rodney Hall, Sherwood Forrest, Fair Prospect, Black Rock, Islington, Kildare, Black Hill, Lennox, Orange Bay, Hay Field, Union, Scott’s Run, and Belle Castle,” Portland Environmental Health Officer Lorenzo Hume told last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Portland Municipal Corporation.

He explained that an index of 51 is considered risk for transmission of disease.

Hume said a survey conducted in several areas — including Scott’s Run, Belle Castle, Haining, Hector’s River, and all adjoining communities — showed that Belle Castle was especially problematic as it has both a high index and high levels of mosquito breeding.

“We found it necessary to carry out fogging operation in these communities and, unfortunately, we had to turn back from our activity on Tuesday night due to issues… that would have threatened the safety of members of our team,” he told the mayor of Port Antonio, Paul Thompson, who was chairing the meeting.

Hume said the incident had been reported to Thompson and the Manchioneal Police.

“We expect that the communities will allow us to do the duties expected to let them keep [safe],” he added.

He pointed out that the parish overall has an index of 62, well above the risk of transmission rate.

“We are, therefore, seeking the support of all partner agencies to reduce mosquito breeding in the schools, churches, homes, and work places,” Hume appealed.

He also urged the municipal corporation to clean the drains, the National Solid Waste Management Authority to collect the garbage, and the National Water Commission to provide running water in the communities so that collection in drums is reduced.