KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday October 21, 2016 – An outbreak of violence in some Jamaican communities has halted a clean-up campaign to prevent the spread of Zika, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.
The clean-up activities, which were planned by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Ministry of Health have been stalled, at least for now, because of the flare-up of violence in a number of targeted communities.
Additionally, the JSIF is reporting that several critical social intervention and infrastructural projects managed by the fund in 30 communities across the island have also been affected by the upsurge of violence.
Up to September 2, the Ministry of Health had reported that it had confirmed a total of 92 persons, including pregnant women, were infected with the Zika virus.
Managing Director of the JSIF Omar Sweeney made an impassioned plea to residents of communities plagued by violence to cooperate with the security forces to ease tensions in these areas so that the projects can be implemented.
“It is becoming increasingly more difficult to execute these programmes because it works on timing, on people coming out, and freedom of movement,” Sweeney said.
“Our appeal is for the residents to cooperate with the police force and help us to continue to execute the programmes so that essentially, people can receive the benefits of the programme.”
Sweeney pointed out that the violence was now spreading to other areas and, as a result, “good-standing citizens” were not getting the assistance which they required.