With the goal of achieving an environment free of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and leptospirosis, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations has begun its vector awareness campaign 2015 following the success of its 2014 campaign. This was disclosed at a press conference held by the Ministry of Health on Thursday to sensitize the public via the media of effective vector management strategies with focus on vulnerable communities and population.According to the Ministry, an integrated approach will take place this year with the incorporation of business houses and stakeholders who are invited to both promote and be a practitioner of behaviours conducive to achieving an environment free of vectors. “We are bringing in different stakeholders on board to work with us in achieving the goal. We don’t want it to remain government only; we want everybody to engage in this fight. At the end of the day it affects all of us. It’s not my problem, it’s not the government’s problem, it is the country’s issue. We all need to focus and contribute whichever way we can,” says Emerson Vitalis of the Ministry of Health.
According to the Ministry, the impact vector-borne diseases have is huge, affecting health, quality of life and causing economic loss for persons and industry, which are areas of concern.
Workplaces have been recognized as one of the priority settings for integrated vector management activities. The implementation of interventions at the workplace will take place to support efforts in improving the working environment, well-being of the workforce and, by extension, the community. Organizations will receive vector assessments via entomological surveillance. Management and staff will also receive training. Workplace interventions will take place June 8-19.
Reducing the mosquito population in communities, removing potential breeding areas for vectors, educating communities on mosquito and rodent control measures and sensitizing and empowering business organizations on vector management are the Ministry’s objective.
Observation of vector awareness will be from June 22-26 followed by the implementation of community interventions in July through to September which will include health education sessions, community mobilization clean-ups, community modification, improvement of water storage containers, solid waste management, education on the control of vectors and competitions.
Throughout the programme there will be periodic evaluation of the interventions.