Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Residents are being reminded to continue their efforts at reducing mosquito breeding sites as the Territory prepares to observe Mosquito Awareness Week.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mr. Lionel Michael said the week will be observed from May 7 to 11 under the theme “Small Bite, Big Threat. Fight the Bite, Destroy Mosquito Breeding Sites”.
He said the week is also important because the likelihood of vector-borne diseases developing and spreading in the region is very high.
Mr. Michael said the Aedes mosquito, the vector that transmits diseases like Chikungunya, ZIKA, and Dengue Fever is domesticated, lives around people and reproduces in any object that contains water.
“That is why it is imperative that we reduce mosquito breeding sites to reduce the Aedes population,” he said.
As part of the week of activities, the Environmental Health Division will scale up existing initiatives, encourage and mobilise community groups to take action in fighting mosquitoes and educate the community about the department’s Vector Control Unit.
Mr. Michael said his department will also distribute educational materials, have discussions and make presentations to the community. There will be school visits and collaboration with ‘Bug Out’ on Virgin Gorda.
The community is urged to continue to do their part to reduce mosquito breeding sites by conducting weekly inspections of all premises. Eliminate unwanted containers that can hold water, dispose of garbage on a regular basis and open drains where water could settle. Persons are also encouraged to thoroughly scrub the sides of containers to destroy mosquito eggs, keep the yard clean from rubbish and bulky waste, and keep containers not being used face down.
Eliminating mosquito breeding places, avoiding bites and improving environmental conditions in and around dwellings are some of the key ways to reduce vector borne-illnesses
Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week is an initiative of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to strengthen existing programmes by member states and to generate public mosquito awareness which is aimed at protecting the populace from bites and eliminating the existence of mosquito breeding sites.