Jamaica To Undertake Mosquito Sterilisation Pilot Project

Come next year, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be embarking on a pilot for the Sterilised Insect Technique (SIT), as part of efforts to minimise mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue.Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the initiative will be spearheaded by the Mosquito Control Research Unit, which has been established in conjunction with the University of the West Indies (UWI).The technique is an environmentally friendly pest-control method involving mass-rearing and sterilisation, via radiation, of target pests, such as the Aedes aegypti mosquito.He explained that the process also involves systematic area-wide release of the sterile males by air, over defined areas, resulting in no fertilisation when they mate with wild females, thereby leading to a decline in the mosquito population.The Minister was speaking at a Pan American Health Organization PAHO workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Monday (October 7).Dr. Tufton said Jamaica has had a dengue threshold that has been classified as an outbreak for the better part of 2019, noting that this is “not that normal”.He contended that Jamaica, like the rest of the Caribbean, must figure out how to deal with the prevalence of mosquitoes and their increasingly aggressive nature.“We all have that issue… and because we’re a tourism destination, it is even more important. So [based on] the links between the tourism and domestic population, it threatens our industry, our primary foreign exchange earner; primary job creation activities; [and] it threatens our domestic life in terms of the dengue issue and our response to that,” Dr. Tufton said.Director of the Ministry’s Vector Control Programme, Dr. Sherine Huntley Jones, told JIS News that Jamaica is partnering with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to explore the use of SIT as part of the country’s integrated vector management programme.She noted that “Jamaica is the only Caribbean country that will be piloting the SIT”.Meanwhile, Dr. Huntley Jones said the Ministry has commenced the process of rearing mosquitoes, and standardising the requisite procedures and techniques.“We’re also conducting surveillance in the pilot communities, because we have to be able to estimate the wild population to be able to match that with the one that we’re going to be releasing. So we have been doing extensive surveillance in the areas selected and we have been working on our inventory,” she added.The two-day PAHO Workshop, titled ‘Project Concepts on Health and Climate Change – Green Climate Fund’, brings together stakeholders from across the Caribbean and representatives of the Green Climate Fund to discuss regional project concepts on climate action for the health sector. Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the initiative will be spearheaded by the Mosquito Control Research Unit, which has been established in conjunction with the University of the West Indies (UWI). Come next year, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be embarking on a pilot for the Sterilised Insect Technique (SIT), as part of efforts to minimise mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Story Highlights The technique is an environmentally friendly pest-control method involving mass-rearing and sterilisation, via radiation, of target pests, such as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. read more

Canadian dollar lower American currency strengthens on solid job creation data

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 6, 2015 6:50 am MDT Canadian dollar lower, American currency strengthens on solid job creation data TORONTO – The Canadian dollar was lower Friday amid a strengthening greenback as U.S. job creation for February beat expectations.The loonie moved down 0.58 of a U.S. cent to 79.38 cents as the U.S. Labor Department announced that the economy created 295,000 jobs last month, much higher than the 245,000 that economists expected.Canadian employment data for February will be released March 13.Other data showed that U.S. wage growth in February was up just 0.1 per cent.Analysts said wage increases would be the most closely-watched data from the U.S. employment report since the slow pace of wage growth has been a disappointment so far.Stronger wage growth would likely add to pressure on the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise borrowing rates this year for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. Analysts believe the Fed could move to hike rates as early as June.Traders also took in data showing a much higher than expected Canadian trade deficit for January.Statistics Canada said the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world grew to $2.5 billion, up sharply from a $1.2-billion deficit in January and is the largest since mid-2012.The trade deficit was also much higher than the $1 billion figure that economists had expected.The agency says the deficit increased as exports fell 2.8 per cent in January while imports were largely unchanged from December.In other economic news Friday, there was positive data from Europe’s largest economy as German industrial production rose by 0.6 per cent in January, higher than the 0.5 per cent increase that had been expected.That data came out a day after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the ECB had upgraded its growth forecast for the eurozone in 2015 to 1.5 per cent from 1.0 per cent.Draghi added that the central bank expects the economic recovery to broaden and strengthen.On the commodity markets, oil prices headed lower with the April crude contract in New York 80 cents lower at US$49.96 a barrel.April gold bullion was down $22.10 to US$1,174.10 an ounce while May copper fell four cents to US$2.61 a pound. read more