My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Ministry of Health's Malathion caused asthma attacks at Ocho Rios High School and needs to be banned

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Ministry of Health's Malathion caused asthma attacks at Ocho Rios High School and needs to be banned

“I got to school about quarter past six; when I got there I noticed that the place was fogged. We went onto the compound, but it was affecting us, so we went to the main gate and we stood there. More students kept coming and they were curious. The scent was really bad and so we instructed them not to go in”

Acting Vice-Principal Christine Wellington explaining what happened when Ocho Rios High School in St Ann got “Fogged” for Mosquitoes, causing 54 students to faint on Tuesday November 19th 2013

The Ministry of Health has banned Cigarette Smoking and still haven’t placed a ban on Vehicles and other products that pollute the atmosphere with smoke based on 1938 Road Traffic Act, Section 43 (2) that imposes a JA$4000 fine for smoking Vehicles as argued by the SDA (Seventh Day Adventists) in my blog article entitled “Adventists want Ban on Vehicle Pollution as Smoking Ban looms on Saturday July 15 2013 - Dr. Fenton Ferguson's Escape Plan leads.

Yet strangely enough, on Tuesday November 19th 2013, the very same Ministry of Health attempted to kill fifty four (54) students of Ocho Rios High School in St Ann by spraying Malathion in a bid to eradicate mosquitoes but in the process causing several Students to pass out as stated in the article “Mosquito fogging blamed for mass fainting at Ocho Rios High, published Wednesday, November 20, 2013 BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Malathion (C10H19O6PS2) is an organophosphate parasympathomimetic insecticide of relatively low human toxicity which binds irreversibly to cholinesterase. However, it’s been associated with cancer in Children. If absorbed in sufficient quantities, it may result in its metabolism to malaoxon. 

According to the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) there is no reliable information on adverse Health effects of chronic exposure to Malathion (C10H19O6PS2) and symptoms are dependent on the level of exposure. Possible symptoms include:

1.      Skin and eye irritation
2.      Cramps
3.      Nausea
4.      Diarrhea
5.      Excessive sweating
6.      Seizures
7.      Death

This in light of the fact that the GOJ is yet to implement an effective islandwide Mosquito Eradication program that DOESN’T involve “fogging” using Malathion (C10H19O6PS2), whose effects on the Jamaican Population are still not yet understood. 

The GOJ also needs to imposes a ban on Mosquito Destroyers in favour of using Citronella Candles as explained in my blog article entitledMinister of Health calls for Public Support for ban on Smoking in Public Spaces - How to kill mosquitoes using a Carbon Dioxide Generator Mosquito Trap”.

Death by Smoking - Ministry of Health apparently made a deal with the God Anubis

At approximately 6am on Tuesday November 19th 2013, officials from the Ministry of Health began their “fogging” of the environs surrounding the Ocho Rios High School to kill mosquitoes responsible for Dengue. Students on their way to school got caught in the smoke and experienced respiratory problems due to the spraying of Malathion (C10H19O6PS2), the active agent used in the Mosquito killing smoke.

Lucky for the Ocho Rios High School Students, Taxi men passing near to the school were on hand to assist those that fainted, based on the account provided by Professor Roosevelt Crooks, first on the scene, it was a scene of pure panic and confusion, quote: “The taxi men have been very responsive, the teachers have been responsive, but I laud the taxi men who have been picking them up at varying points in Ocho Rios. We have good citizens and we need to thank them. Some of the traffic people need to yield a little more when they hear sirens coming, because I had to stop in the middle of the street to take up the first set because they weren't moving out of the streets, while people were running with students in their arms trying to get to the unit.”

Taxi men helpful indeed, helping to ferry the students to hospital, to again quote Professor Roosevelt Crooks: “We picked up 11 students in the Coaster ambulance, five in the Hiace ambulance. I don't think that it is students in mass hysteria; teachers were also affected. I took down two teachers who were affected”.

Apparently the Health officials were merely doing their Job in their fight to prevent the spread of Dengue. Dr Kevin Harvey of the Ministry of Health even sought to write off the event as a Panic attack by the students not used to the scent of Malathion (C10H19O6PS2) in the Morning, quote: “We were carrying out an activity in this area at about five, six o'clock this morning (on Tuesday). Some fogging took place in the Ocho Rios community which included this school. Because of the temperature and wind conditions there was some settling of the compound used, and hence the smell of this compound in the classrooms”.

Apparently only four (4) Ocho Rios High School students had asthma Attacks to quote Dr. Kevin Harvey: “We had about 54 students who were taken to our Health facilities; they were all reviewed with very mild respiratory symptoms; about four of the students had more moderate symptoms because they were known to be asthmatic and hence had a more severe reaction”.

Malathion Spraying and Destroyers ban needed – Citronella Candles and Education

But this activity usually takes placed in the evenings, not the mornings from my experience in Swallowfield, near to the National Stadium where I live. Even back home in Milk River, Clarendon, where my parents live, “Fogging” is an evening activity, not one that occurs in the morning. I suspect it may be a case that the Health Officials were doing their job out of laziness to avoid being seen on the road by the Tourists in the Tourist Resort town of Ocho Rios.

Killing Mosquitoes becomes a priority every time it Rains. Ultimately the death of the Dengue pathogen is dependent of the effectiveness of Mosquito Breeding Control Program. This mainly involve educating people about the dangers of Mosquito Breeding an how to prevent this via removing container that gather water and spraying Mineral Oil on open stagnant bodies of Water.

Seeding the water with hardier fish than the Western Mosquito Fish (Gambusia affinis) commonly called “Tiki-Tiki” Fish in Jamaica to eradicate Mosquitoes is needed, as the “Tiki-Tiki” used in Portmore suffocated in the muddy Gully waters as stated in the article “Ticky-ticky flop! - Portmore back to square one”, published Sunday, August 26, 2012 BY COREY ROBINSON Sunday Observer staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

A hardier Variety of fish is needed to eat the Mosquito Larvae in the gullies and Drains where water gathers. Constant Drain and Gully Cleaning exercises to drain swampland of water are also needed if Mosquitoes are to be eradicated. People also need to be educated on the use of spray-on insect repellants such as DEET and Citronella Oil as well as Mosquito Nets, Zappers as well as Mosquito Screens on their windows and Doors to keep Mosquitoes out of the house.

More importantly, the GOJ needs to ban the importation of Mosquito Destroyers to Jamaica and encourage farmers to grow Citronella Grass to make Mosquito Candles as explained in per my Geezam blog article entitled “How to make Environmentally Friendly Citronella (Lemon Grass) Oil for Mosquito Repellant Lotion and Candles”. 

The Candles can be designed so as to be vaporized by a heating source instead of being burn by a candle, thus reducing the Fire Hazard Risk, an easy concept involving a Heater Element modified from a plug-in Vape Destroyer.

Ultimately education is the key to get Jamaicans understanding how to fight the Mosquitoes that carry Dengue fever. Otherwise situations like involving Allergic Reactions, Panic Attacks or Respiratory ailments due to spraying Malathion (C10H19O6PS2) may become more common place, as the Ocho Rios High School Fainting could have been a Go for Sisters (2013) Sacrificed by the Ministry of Health.

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