ctorThe Ministry of Health continues to promote awareness of vector borne diseases and the preventative measures that need to be taken in combatting the extensive breeding of vectors.
On the 27th of June, 2017, the Ministry of Health hosted the launch of Vector Awareness Week in the community of Micoud.
Dr. Sharon Belmar George, Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, referred to the activity as one which strongly focuses on the awareness of vectors and vector borne diseases.
She said: “This is actually the culminating activity….intensify our efforts in terms of public education.”
Dr. Belmar-George also noted local and regional partnering organizations who have assisted in the efforts of the Ministry to combat the spread of vectors and their related diseases: “I have to recognize the Pan American Health Organization….we also had our carnival parade the Soufriere Carnival Association there.”
Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Merlene Fredericks, recounted outbreaks of Dengue fever in 2001, Chikungunya in 2014 and the Zika virus in 2016.
The CMO stated that vectors like rats and mosquitoes pose a threat to the productivity and health of the general population, and the island’s largely tourism dependent economy.
She emphasized the need to control the breeding of vectors and the role the public has to play in these efforts.
“Diseases caused by rats and mosquitoes are serious….lessen our chances of carrying diseases contracted from those pests.”
In attendance at the event were students from Micoud Primary and Secondary schools who performed renditions and dramatizations in line with the theme of Vector Awareness week ‘Be the Change – Pests Must Go’.