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Jun 26, 2014

Vector Control Unit outlines MOH strategy

Kim Bautista

According to Chief Operations Officer Kim Bautista, of the Vector Control Unit, the combination of two particular species of disease-transmitting mosquitoes is responsible for the rapid spread of chikungunya across the hemisphere since December.  In Belize, it is expected that members of that department will commence site surveys and vector control in the weeks ahead.

 

Kim Bautista, Chief Operations Officer, Vector Control Unit

“I would like to add that what has led to the quick transmission of chikungunya from December from one country to twenty-eight territories within a matter of a few months is the fact that within the region you have two vectors and those are the two vectors that transmit dengue as well.  So you have two vectors aedes albopictus and aedes aegypti, both which are found in the region and in Belize, transmitting this disease.  So it’s just an introduction of a virus for which we have all the right conditions.  So that is one; what we are focusing on is an integrated approach to vector control.  One of the key things is source reduction, the identification, treatment and elimination of mosquito breeding sites.  And as the Director of Health Services rightfully mentioned, us being a stakeholder in this approach which requires other government departments and private citizens and other entities to take part in these activities.  We are also expanding our larvicidal activities as the rainy season progresses.  So what we do is every rainy season we hire additional temporary workers to go out into these places where, especially areas with major breeding sites for mosquitoes and we keep those under surveillance as well.  So these personnel should be out in the field within the coming weeks.”

 

The European Union is one of several donor agencies to provide local funding for the fight against chikungunya.

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