Ministry of Health to procure 30 additional fogging machines

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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) continues to increase its response to Dengue Fever in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

A 2020 outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease has so far infected over 430 people and killed four in SVG.

The Insect Vector Control Unit within the MOHWE, with its two pick-up trucks, continues to conduct regular fogging operations in communities across SVG. At present, the ministry possesses four fogging machines.

The Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment this morning (Sept. 29) announced that the MOHWE is in the process of procuring additional fogging machines.

“We recognize that we have some limitations in terms of the number of fogging machines that we have. That is what is causing us to operate on a fairly limited scale right now,” Hon. Luke Browne said on the WakeUpCall with Christal and D’Hurricane Man.

“…We’re planning to go up to thirty, the figures are being finalized. But we’re looking to have about maybe thirty more machines.”

“…We’re talking about maybe something that we’ll be able to achieve with a view to implementing additional requirements, as early as next week, in terms of the increased number of fogging machines here.”

The Health Minister explained that the limited number of machines is only one part of the problem.

“We also need more vehicles. Right now the department has a limited number of vehicles. They use two pick-ups for the fogging operations, which is inadequate if you want to have maximum coverage. We would dramatically ramp up the number of vehicles that we have.”

The Health Minister also addressed staffing with regard to fogging operations.

“We would have to make some redeployment’s of staff and apart from making redeployment of staff, we will take on what may be described as temporary Public Health Officers, who are apart of the army who are ready to continue with the fogging.”

“Our response plan has a very strong fogging element,” Browne said.