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Feb 17, 2016

Mayor Bradley Says Community Effort is Needed to Prevent Zika

Darrell Bradley

An increase in the number of cases involving vector-borne diseases such as dengue occurs primarily in communities that are extremely susceptible.  Nonetheless, Mayor Bradley says that the city council is strengthening enforcement pertaining to sanitation offenses.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“The message really is that it’s not a crisis.  There’s no confirmed cases of Zika in Belize but, as what was shared, it’s all around us and we have open borders, we have people who travel to the United States, who travel to Central America and the Caribbean.  These are all places where the Zika virus is present and there is in country transmission so that this is something which is not too far in the distant future that perhaps maybe there is a confirmed case in Belize.  And so as a community we need to have a community response and it starts with basic things that were shared in terms of doing your responsibility to keep your yard clean.  To assist in terms of keeping open lots clean, the city council is beefing up, and this is one of our strategies that was discussed in our council meeting yesterday, to beef up enforcement of sanitation offenses.  To ensure that our sanitation officers, including inspectors are alert and they are making sure that we monitor certain areas.  One of the things that was telling is that the cases which were presented, in terms of dengue, its concentrated in certain areas of Belize City which is unfortunate because those are the communities which are most vulnerable.  One of the things that we have targeted which was shared by our outreach officer Philip Singh is that we are doing a lot of strategies, including clean up campaigns and other efforts with residents in those particular communities so that notwithstanding this issue with Zika, the city council has routinely and on an ongoing basis dealt with cleanup campaigns in particular areas of Belize City that are most at risk and most present challenges in terms of sanitation.”

 

A comprehensive plan of action to combat Zika should an outbreak erupt in Belize City is being put together by the Ministry of Health and its partner agencies.

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