The St. Thomas Health Services’ Environmental Health Unit commemorated Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2018 on Wednesday, May 16, under the theme “Small bite, Big Threats, Fight the bite, Destroy Mosquito Breeding sites”
Several activities were carried out by the public health and vector control staff throughout the day including a march from Cotton Tree to Port Morant Primary and Junior High School to sensitize residents and business operators about the impact of mosquito breeding, elimination and reduction as well as self-protection. During the march, the staff held up placards with preventative messages such as “get rid of all used tyre.” In addition, the vector control team visited several areas to search and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
A national mosquito awareness forum was held at the Port Morant Primary and Junior High School in an effort to further encourage students, teachers, parents and other guest to participate in preventing, reducing and eradicating of all mosquito breeding sites. Also, persons were taught that mosquito can spread diseases such as Dengue, Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.
During the opening ceremony, Mrs. Sherine Huntley-Jones, Medical Entomologist from the Ministry of Health noted that the health sector will be launching a vector control summer employment programme starting in June, with 1,000 persons being employed on a short-term basis. The employees will assist in the sensitization sessions in highly affected communities to ensure that community members and cooperation play their part in an effort to safeguard the environment and their health.
She added that the success of the Ministry’s summer programme will be dependent on community participation to assist in the eradication of mosquito breeding sites in their homes, leading up to peak outbreak season, which begins in August.
Similarly, Dr. D’Oyen Smith, Medical Officer of Health, St. Thomas Health Services said that the vector control staff has continued to make ongoing efforts to control mosquito breeding sites by fogging several communities in St. Thomas on a monthly basis.