VECTOR CONTROL MESSAGE FROM
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HONOURABLE RONNIE W. SKELTON
AUGUST 23, 2017
My fellow Virgin Islands residents, I would first like to take this opportunity to thank Jehovah for his mercies during the recent heavy rains, which caused severe flooding that resulted in the damage of property and infrastructure in our Territory. It could have been much worse, and we are thankful that here was no loss of life.
Let me express my sincere gratitude to our emergency response teams - the BVI Health Services Authority, Social Development, Waste Management, Royal Virgin Islands Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Electricity Corporation, Disaster Management and Public Works Departments; as well as the Non Profit Organisations, Service Clubs and community minded individuals - for their stellar performances and contributions, which helped to advance our efforts towards the road to recovery in record time.
My fellow residents along with the damage to property and infrastructure, the rain has brought us an additional challenge that is perhaps not immediately as costly as property and infrastructure repairs, but extremely dangerous non-the-less. During a period of heavy rain such as what we have experienced recently, there is a significant increase in mosquito breeding. Although most of what we are seeing right now is the emergence of “pest mosquitoes” we cannot forget that the vector that transmits Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika could be among the current mosquito population.
Other contributing factors that could lead to mosquito infestation include open unattended water catchments abandoned boats and vehicles; uncovered water containers; and unprotected cisterns throughout the Territory. These are perfect hiding places and breeding sites for mosquitoes. My fellow residents, we, the people of this Territory by our actions, are contributing to the cause of this problem. It is our individual and collective responsibility to do our part to reduce mosquito breeding. No amount of fogging will arrest this challenge as long as we continue to provide safe havens for mosquitoes to hide and thrive. I am therefore encouraging the entire Virgin Islands community to mount a clean-up effort of your own property and surroundings - whether you are an owner or renter - to reduce mosquito hiding places and breeding sites.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development has already commenced its fogging campaign and open water treatment efforts. You, the members of the community must do your part. The Environmental Health Division and Department of Waste Management has been mobilised to assist with recovery efforts which include vector control and the removal of bulky waste. For the safety and protection of all of us, we are asking for each and every resident and visitor to do their part as we continue our efforts to return the community to state of normalcy.
I would like to reiterate my gratitude to our emergency responders, non-profit organisations, service clubs and community minded individuals for their tremendous contributions to the recovery effort. Let us continue to work together for a cleaner, safer and mosquito free environment. Remember, standing strong we are one BVI!
Thank you for listening and may Jehovah continue to show his mercy and protection towards our beautiful Virgin Islands.