Barbadians are being urged to join the Ministry of Health in eliminating the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as it launches National Mosquito Eradication Week under the theme ???Search and Destroy???, from Monday, November 25 to Friday, November 29.

The initiative is in an effort to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to dengue fever in Barbados.

Representatives from the Ministry???s Environmental Health Department will be visiting primary and secondary schools on Monday, November 25 and Tuesday, November 26, to educate children about how to properly manage their surroundings to prevent mosquito breeding on school compounds.

Meetings were held during the month of October to educate principals and auxiliary staff of schools.

In addition, Ministry officials are encouraging all householders and business managers to conduct home inspections during the week by searching for places where water may collect and encourage the breeding of mosquitoes, for example, roof gutters and above and below ground water storage tanks.

They also urge home and property owners to eliminate breeding places by covering containers such as salt meat buckets – which have been major breeding receptacles for mosquitoes – and storing them properly.

The week will conclude on Friday, November 29, with visits to a number of select businesses and institutions, including churches, hotels and guest houses, by Environmental Health Officials who will make presentations on how to conduct self-inspections. Institutions are expected to do their own self-inspections.

Training on how to destroy mosquito larvae is currently being done ahead of the start of National Mosquito Eradication Week.

The main objectives of the week are to reduce the national mosquito house index to less than one in Barbados by March 31, 2014 – at the end of September, this year it stood at an average of 4.8; and to reduce the incidence of dengue fever by March 31, next year.

It is hoped that continuous self-inspections by Barbadians – beyond the week – in addition to the work being done by the Ministry of Health???s Vector Control Unit, will significantly reduce the mosquito population and, by extension, the number of dengue cases on the island.

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