The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment has embarked on a series of training activities that will look specifically at further addressing vector control measures here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This is in light of the spread of the Zika, a mosquito borne virus from Africa, to the Caribbean and is creating serious concerns.
According to Media reports, the Brazilian Health Ministry has confirmed a link between Zika and a high incidence of birth defects. According to the officials, the Zika fever is behind a spike in cases of micro-encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain contracted in the first months of pregnancy, which can stunt the growth of the foetus’ head.
Doctors have found the Zika virus in the blood and tissue of a baby with micro-encephalitis in the north-eastern state of Ceara, and officials have issued warnings to women to think carefully about getting pregnant at the moment in areas where there are Zika fever cases.
This country’s Senior Environment Health Officer Todd Lewis says Vector borne related diseases such as dengue fever, leptospirosis, and most recently the chikungunya virus, are all adversely affecting the general public and remain a constant threat.”
Lewis adds that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to initiate programs that will facilitate the work of each vector control inspector, which will make their task more effective and efficient, and that all is being done through training activities, and that the professionals are working to look more broadly on sustained integrated vector control measures and management here in SVG.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment urges the public to inspect their homes and yards weekly and to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites indoors and outdoors by keeping water drums and barrels tightly covered, and throwing out stagnant water from flower vases, old tyres, and other containers that might serve as breeding sites.