The Ministry of Health received a quantity of bed nets from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to assist in the Zika response. The presentation was made on Friday 13th May in the Department of the Environmental Health’s conference Room in Bois d’Orange.
In making the presentation Valerie Beach-Horne, PAHO’s Country Programme Specialist stated, “These nets, I am sure, will not cover all of the people who are at risk but I hope they will go a long way to helping the prevention of the bites of the mosquito that we know is present in our country and is responsible for spreading three major diseases: Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. “We have this mosquito with us and part of the strategy to preventing the spread of Zika is self-protection from bites. We are giving these in addition to much more technical support that we have already given and we will continue to give to the ministry in terms of training staff, providing material and support so that we could rid our country of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and also prevent the spread of these diseases.”
Accepting on behalf of the Ministry of Health was Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks who thanked PAHO for the timely donation.
“This is not the first donation we have received from the Pan American Health Organisation. PAHO has been instrumental in assisting us in our response and we still have in stock right now some mosquito nets from our previous Chikungunya response which we are utilizing in our hospitals in the treatment and management of patients who are ill and admitted from vector-related diseases. So this shipment will be used primarily in our primary care centres, at our antenatal clinics where we treat, manage and monitor our pregnant women during their pregnancy.”
Dr. Frederick indicated that the bed nets will be distributed among the 33 Wellness Centres including Soufriere and Dennery District Hospitals so pregnant women in need of bed nets can access one free of charge from these facilities. This is in an effort to decrease the risk of Zika virus-borne infections, especially during pregnancy.