Students of Class Three and Four of the St. Patrick Roman Catholic School listen attentively as Environmental ealth Assistant Shari, Agard-Birch demonstrates how mosquitoes can breed in a plant pot. From left are Shaquana Harris, Naomi Rogers, Josiah Drakes and Tristan Webster.
Environmental Health Officers have reported overwhelming support for the vector control programme in primary schools that started in January.
This is according to Senior Environmental Health Officer with the Vector Control Unit, Maurice Gaskin, whose team, having visited some 10 primary schools over the past two months, indicated that children “are eager to encourage parents to do the right thing”.
Mr. Gaskin noted that following a return to two primary schools, Good Shepherd and Belmont Primary, children admitted that they, “looked into plant saucers and freed them of water”, and “scrubbed containers of algae to remove any mosquito eggs that were likely to further breed mosquitoes”.
He added that some children even encouraged “mummy and daddy to call the Sanitation Service Authority to collect bulk refuse such as old fridges, stoves and washing machines”, while others have encouraged family members not to excessively wet plants but alternatively to use, ice cubes – a slow irrigation process, which he said, “ensures water does not settle in the plant pot or its saucer.”
He also remarked that teachers felt they learnt “new information” about vectors (mosquitoes and rodents) and their associated diseases and that children would be prepared for the Common Entrance Examination, should any topic on vectors form part of the 11-plus.
In addition to the 10 primary schools sensitised, environmental health officers have held two sessions at the Parents Teachers’ Association of one school – the Belmont Primary school, which also received an overwhelming response.
The Vector control programme, aimed at educating students, teachers and auxiliary staff about vectors, diseases and associated dangers will continue next week at two schools.
On Monday, March 2, the team will visit the Eagle Hall Primary School at Small Land, Bridge Gap, at 9:30 a.m. and the St. Cyprian’s Boys’ on Tuesday, March 3 at Brittons Cross Road at 10:35 a.m.
Environmental health officers will instruct the school population about how to detect the mosquito larvae and eggs and the importance of rodent baiting. Equipment used by the Unit, including the microscope, the black lamp and the fogging machine will also be displayed.