The first suspected Zika case was reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Jamaica in May 2015. Since then, all parishes in Jamaica have reported suspected cases of Zika, with the largest numbers coming from Kingston and Saint Andrew, followed by Saint Catherine. As of February 10, 2017, Jamaica had 7,474 suspected cases of Zika. Of these, 666 were in pregnant women. Only 203 cases were confirmed through testing. Among these confirmed cases, 77% were females. One infant born in Jamaica in 2016 with microcephaly was classified as a probable case of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus infection. Jamaica’s MOH also reports 37 suspected cases of neurological complications possibly related to Zika. Other arboviruses in circulation in Jamaica include endemic dengue. There was a major outbreak of chikungunya in 2014/15 which resulted in an estimated 1.2 million lost days of productivity.

ZAP Jamaica will implement vector control activities across Jamaica and support the MOH to respond to the epidemic. ZAP Jamaica will help the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) establish its new Mosquito Control and Research Unit at the MOH in conjunction with the University of the West Indies. Further, ZAP will work with GoJ to implement best practices in routine entomological surveillance, insecticide resistance monitoring, managing Zika-related environmental health risks, and larviciding. With the GoJ and other partners, ZAP Jamaica will work to update insecticide and larvicide resistance testing to ensure data-driven decisions in any forthcoming arbovirus control efforts. ZAP Jamaica will work at national and parish levels with various partners to achieve the following key project objectives:

  • Support the roll-out of the Mosquito Control and Research Unit at the MOH.
  • Establish entomological surveillance best practices and explore the feasibility of implementing a smart-phone based data collection and reporting system for routine MOH entomology and larviciding data collection and reporting.
  • Enhance the capacity and skills of the MOH and other counterparts in vector control and entomology to establish in-country resources to program and implement activities for the reduction of Zika and other arbovirus transmission, including national training in VC and entomology, sub-national and community-level skill building, and procurement of supplies and equipment.
  • Support the MOH’s larviciding campaign.
  • Protect vulnerable populations from Zika virus transmission.