21 Apr POOR CHOICES BY GOVERNMENT IMPACTING MOSQUITO ERADICATION PROGRAMME
The People’s National Party notes that while the government spent $800 million on a highly partisan bushing programme, much of which was paid prior to the local government elections in November 2016, there is no focus on cleaning gullies, communities and ridding the island of mosquito breeding sites, which have contributed to the Zika Virus crisis.
In addition, there have been complaints of delays in garbage collection in many communities across the island. Furthermore, the community mosquito eradication programme has not been aggressively pursued as promised by the Health Minister.
Everybody is now exposed to a possibly new outbreak of the Zika Virus due to the poor choices by the government. These poor choices include the ill-conceived $1.5m false promise, which has negatively impacted the 2017/2018 budget, causing cuts in critical sectors such as the health.
In March 2016, Health Minister Christopher Tufton, promised that the government would ensure that the fight against the Zika Virus would be atop his list of priorities. Indeed, Tufton said that the government would implement preventative measures to stem the spread.
Media reports and admission by the Health ministry only confirms that the promised focus never materialized due to partisan consideration. The country is facing another Zika Virus crisis, and we have a responsibility to protect our people, particularly our pregnant women.
The Zika Virus has been allowed to proliferate to crisis proportions while the government insists on leadership by turf. Jamaica’s productive and tourism sectors could suffer great set back if this crisis remains unchecked.
Our people and the country deserve better. Good governance cannot be partisan.