Jamaican Delegation at MRCU

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Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer learn about genetically modified mosquitoes.
L-r: Dr. Renaud Lacroix, Oxitec; Dr. Winston De La Haye, Jamaican Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaican Minister of Health; Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin; Dr. Bill Petrie, Director MRCU; Councillor Roy McTaggart.
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A high-level delegation from Jamaica visited the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) this week to learn more about the facility’s methods to control mosquito-borne diseases.

Jamaican Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton and Jamaica’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye were among the party who met with MRCU Director, Dr Bill Petrie on Wednesday (13 July 2016).

Accompanied by Premier and Minister for Health, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, as well as Councillor for Health, Roy McTaggart, and other officials, they discussed the difficulties both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands face in the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This non-native breed of mosquito transmits Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

In particular, Dr. Tufton and his team were keen to learn more about the method using genetically modified, sterile male mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti population. This pioneering technique is due to be rolled out soon in the Cayman Islands as an additional tool to protect the health of residents and visitors.

The party toured the laboratory facilities at MRCU, where the genetically modified mosquitoes are being reared.

“It was a great pleasure to have such distinguished guests from Jamaica,” said Dr. Petrie. “We are very pleased to share our knowledge and demonstrate the techniques we use in the Cayman Islands, as we fight a common cause across the region to combat Aedes aegypti and other species of mosquitoes.”

After leaving MRCU, the delegation visited Health City Cayman Islands in East End for a tour of the medical tourism hospital, before departing for Cuba on Thursday.

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