The Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health has issued a checklist for householders and institutions to aid in the national effort to search out and destroy the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The Ministry recently launched National Mosquito Eradication Week, which started on Monday, November 25 and ends tomorrow, Friday, November 29.
However, the national mosquito eradication effort is expected to continue beyond the week. This is in light of rising cases of dengue fever which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
So far this year, there have been 676 confirmed cases of dengue fever and two deaths compared to 253 cases and one death for the same period last year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes dengue fever lives in and around homes and places where people congregate. Health officials are encouraging persons to check their premises on a weekly basis for any collection of water, indoors or outdoors that may encourage the breeding of mosquitoes.
The checklist outlines specific areas where individuals need to inspect for larvae. Persons are urged to empty or cover up all water containers, especially plastic buckets; clean up discarded containers, plastic bags and coconut shells; sponge water from tyres and place them in a covered area; empty and clean receptacles used by domestic animals; throw away water in plant saucers; change water in vases, at least once per week; clean roof gutters and drains; and introduce larvae eating fish to large bodies of water.
The list also recommended that householders and property owners spread a film of kerosene oil on pools of water to prevent mosquito breeding. They should also cover and seal wells, septic tanks, soak-aways and water storage tanks and fill concrete block holes with sand or concrete so that they don???t collect water when it rains.
All water tanks and manholes must be properly sealed and persons should ensure that water tank covers fit securely. Additionally, there must be screens on the inlet and outlet pipes to water tanks which must be kept free from debris. Mosquito dunks may also be purchased from hardware stores and placed in large bodies of clear water to prevent breeding.
The checklist may be downloaded from the Ministry of Health???s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/moh.barbados. As part of the week, Environmental Health Officers and nurses from all of the island???s polyclinics have been visiting schools, businesses and other institutions to spread the message of prevention in addition to arming individuals with information on how to seek out and destroy the Aedes aegypti mosquito.