Group of unemployed now trained as assistant controllers for campaign to prevent mosquito breeding

A group of six persons will assist the Preventive Health Department as of Monday with yard controls in search of aedes aegypti mosquito breeding sites.  

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The six persons have been contracted for a two month period until the end of May. The aim of the project is to inspect yards, give information and accumulate data such as the number of breeding places, types of mosquitoes found, and what are the most common mosquito breeding sources.

These persons underwent two days of trainings that would allow them to work with the Preventive Health Department in their campaign to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on the island.

The facilitators are Epidemiologist Gerald Peters and GKMB Mosquito Control Program Controller Johnny Wattley.

The persons have been trained on how to detect mosquito breeding spots and to inform residents on eliminating breeding places. The intended yard-to-yard inspections are restricted to home-owner yards and resident’s cooperation is highly appreciated when the controllers pass by to carry out their inspections.

In the meantime residents and businesses are advised to continue taking preventative measures as this is necessary to keep down the mosquito population and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

The six persons that took part in the workshop were selected from a list of 16 persons compiled from the Social Welfare unemployment database. From the 16 names provided, 11 were selected to be trained, and eight were selected to work on the project and only six were able to continue with the project.

These six persons will operate under the supervision of Gerald Peters, Johnny Wattley and Kendal Gumbs.

"I am very pleased that government was able to tap into the unemployed market of persons and found persons willing to get involved in their community in this manner. Government is ready and willing to assist unemployed persons and this initiative is one way to do it.

"I appeal to the community to take proper control measures around their homes to reduce mosquito breeding. Greater vigilance on the part of residents would complement vector control exercises designed to eliminate potentially dangerous mosquitoes such as the one that carries dengue fever," Commissioner of Public Health & Labour Affairs Hyacinth Richardson told the Government Information Service (GIS) on Friday.

Once a breeding place is detected within the yard, there is the option to treat the source with abate or spraying with a hand pump.

The yard inspection will take place at the point of Belvedere going into Dutch Quarter and then into Middle Region. Residents and business owners are kindly requested to cooperate with the controllers and the department. Lets work together to keep our island free of Dengue Fever!

The project is part of the 2008 strategy that was developed to manage the mosquito population. Throughout 2008, the yard-to-yard inspections were carried out mainly by civil servants, which proved to be a challenge due to their daily office duties besides contributing to the campaign.

This project will act as a pilot to determine the possibility of systematically reviving yard-to-yard inspections as a pro-active approach in controlling the mosquito population and preventing an outbreak of dengue fever in the future.