Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Martin, indicated on Monday that various government departments are collaborating to achieve the target of “No Chikungunya and No Dengue for Christmas and Carnival” and beyond.
Those agencies involved include the departments responsible for Environmental Health and the Solid Waste Management Agency. But more importantly, Martin is also of the view that critical partners in this effort are residents.
The Chief Medical Officer explained that the Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for spreading and Dengue. He said Chikungunya is new to the Caribbean having entered the region in December 2013.
Since the end of January 2014, residents of the Federation have been affected with symptoms of fever and joint pain but there have been no deaths recorded.
Recent surveillance reports show a decline in the number of new cases of Chikungunya. Martin said this is mostly due to intensified eradication of breeding sites carried out by individuals, families and communities supported by government agencies.
Pots, pans, tires and other containers in homes, yards and overgrown lots are the breeding sites for the mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya and Dengue. On both islands, the corporations responsible for Solid Waste Management undertake regular collection and effective disposal of household refuse especially the containers where mosquitoes breed.
Similarly, the departments responsible for Environmental Health conduct mosquito awareness education, premises inspections and fogging. These activities will be intensified December 15 – 18 dubbed “Mosquito Eradication Week”, stated the CMO.
The objective of this surge response is to work alongside residents to eradicate mosquito breeding sites and reduce the mosquito population. In so doing, the number of new cases of Chikungunya and Dengue will also be reduced to a minimum, possibly zero, added Martin.
The CMO said residents are being asked to support the mosquito eradication surge in their areas and he went on to outline the schedule for fogging.
Monday, December 15 – Newton Ground to West Farm
Tuesday, December 16 – St. Paul’s to Keys
Wednesday, December 17 – Frigate Bay, St. Peter’s, Conaree and Canada
Thursday, December 18 – Bird Rock and Basseterre
Martin is of the view that the Christmas and carnival season should be enjoyed with friends and family and not in hospital, suffering with fever and pain.