Tobago taking fight to mosquitoes
SCARBOROUGH – Health Secretary Claudia Groome-Duke says Tobago has heightened its alert in light of the Zika virus.
Groome-Duke told the Express yesterday that while she would not advise women against pregnancy, the Division of Health is implementing measures to assist in ensuring the virus does not come to Tobago.
“We are advising persons what clothes to wear and will have a repellent stand installed, along with hand sanitisers, spraying of Carnival events before the events occurs,” Groome-Duke said.
She said meetings continue with the Tobago Public Health Emergency Response Team, and on Monday at 9 a.m. a more extensive expanded co-ordinated meeting will take place.
On Wednesday, a presentation is to be made before the executive council on the matter.
In a news release, Groome-Duke said the Division’s Public Health Emergency Response is on the alert by implementing the Tobago Preparedness Programme to treat with all mosquito-borne diseases.
“The Co-ordinated Rapid Response Unit that was previously instituted to treat with issues of the dengue and chikungunya viruses will be reconvened and expanded with other necessary stakeholders, headed by the Office of the County Medical Officer of Health,” Groome-Duke said.
She said Tobagonians are asked to eliminate all breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
“Pregnant women are warned to protect themselves from getting bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito by utilising mosquito nets, repellents and by wearing long clothing. The Division has procured treated mosquito nets, to be distributed to pregnant women who cannot afford them, this will be done at the antenatal clinic,” she said.
Resources have also been allocated to ramp up residual spraying in various communities.
“Pan theatres and venues where major Carnival activities will be held will be sprayed before these events. ‘Don’t Get Bite insect Repellent’ and ‘Hand Sanitiser’ stations will be positioned at major Carnival events in Tobago as an additional measure to reduce the impact of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and to promote cleanliness. Spraying will also be conducted at all healthcare institutions on the island,” the release stated.
The release added: “The Public Health Department will also do continuous announcements in every village throughout Tobago to continue to educate persons on the prevention and control of mosquito breeding sites.” (Express)