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Taking mosquito fight into schools


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To tackle the problem of mosquito infestation, the Vector Control Unit has put in place an extensive school programme.
Senior environmental health officer Maurice Gaskin revealed that in the last two weeks 126 janitors had been trained from all the secondary schools and an additional 19 teachers at the primary school level.
Gaskin, pointing out that the unit received complaints daily from schools, most of which were about rodents, said that after the recent Garrison Secondary School infestation, fogging had been stepped up at the schools.
“We have realised that during the summer holidays when the schools are closed, we get a lot of breeding, because the toilet bowls are not being flushed . . . so we decided to train the ancillary staff who are there during the holidays,” he stated.
Already 12 schools have been fogged, and another eight schools are expected to be fogged this weekend. They are West Terrace, Good Shepherd, Deacons Primary, Eagle Hall Primary, St Bartholomew’s, St Christopher, Milton Lynch and Christ Church Girls’.
Principal of the Garrison Secondary School, Matthew Farley, said the situation had improved since the fogging two weeks ago, but noted there were still some concerns.
“There are still some complaints from teachers, but it’s not as bad as it was before. Things have improved a little since then,” he told the WEEKEND NATION.
Deputy Chief Education Officer Joy Gittens also stated that she had received no more calls from schools concerning mosquito infestations.
However one primary school head did reveal that a number of teachers at her school had been on sick leave, some of whom were still out “with dengue symptoms”.
The school was subsequently fogged.
Checks at Deacons Primary, Eagle Hall Primary, West Terrace Primary and Grantley Adams revealed that there were “no more mosquitoes than usual”, but a few nearby residents did report seeing more mosquitoes.
Principal at Eagle Hall Primary, Marcia Best, said the school had taken steps to reduce the likelihood of mosquito breeding.
Best said the school had removed all the saucers which held plants, washed them and turned them down so that no water would be collected in them.
Just 100 feet away a homeowner said she had seen a rise in mosquitoes, especially during the day.
On the other side of the road, elderly resident Viola Fitzpatrick said she, too, had to be “flitting and covering up” daily.
“That vacant patch out there does cause me nuff, nuff trouble. When de bush high, high, is bare mosquitoes in here,” she said.
Lynette Hunte of Birds River, Deacons Road, said she had been experiencing a rise in mosquito problems over the last two weeks.
“Right now I have two cans of spray right here on the table, because there are so much mosquitoes around,” she said.