With the Zika virus entering Dominica inevitable, the Ministry of Health and Environment (MOH) on Thursday (today) launched a Clean-up Campaign to destroy mosquitos, under the theme “Stop Mosquito Breeding Today, Keep Zika Away.”
The effort is the product of a partnership between the MOH and the Environmental Health Department, the National Pest and Termite Control and the Dominica Solid Waste Management Co. Ltd., working closely with city and village councils, among other partners.
Minister of Health and Environment, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, has called for the public to participate in the campaign, aimed at reducing the population of the Aedes Egypti mosquito, the vector for the Zika Virus.
“I now call on all Dominicans to engage in the inspection of houses and yards and destroying all potential mosquito breeding sites… We are calling on all residents to participate in the clean-up campaigns that will be announced, and to put out all articles that may serve as breeding sites for mosquitos so that they will be collected according to the schedules,” he said, at a stakeholder consultation on the Zika virus.
He emphasized the need for residents and business owners to maintain clean surroundings, in order to prevent mosquito breeding.
“But, again, I stress, the key here is mosquito control — avoid breeding. Special attention must be paid to water stored in drums and barrels, to ensure that the mosquitoes have no access to the water in order to breed, and if they do get into these containers, then these containers should be emptied, cleaned, and secured to prevent further breeding,” he noted. “Home and business owners will be seeing our individuals coming to inspect premises to help with the control of mosquito breeding.”
Darroux stressed that persons found guilty of conditions that harbour mosquitoes will be dealt with by the “long hand of the law.”
During the campaign, the MOH will enlist the aid of schools, clubs, and other social groups to help identify areas in the community which can be tackled to reduce the possibility of mosquito breeding.
In areas at greater risk of Zika infection, fogging will be conducted to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes.
Meanwhile, people are urged to exercise caution by protecting themselves from mosquito bites through the use of bed nets, protective clothing, insect repellent, and insecticide.