The Ministry of Health will benefit from thirty thousand dollars' worth of vector control equipment donated by the British Government. The handing over was held this morning at the Ministry of Health Conference room - where the Director of the Vector Control Unit explained how the equipment will be used to curb mosquito borne diseases:...
Kim Bautista, CO - Vector Control Unit
"We'll be piloting a project in Cayo, Orange walk and Corozal Districts where we'll be using a mobile base platform android base tablet. Using a collector app and incorporated with GIS to basically work in most of our major urban areas for the collection of data regarding infestation levels of AEDES mosquitos. What that will enable us to do is have real time data on what our primary target areas. By so doing, we'll be able to mobilize resources more efficiently. That is one part of the project and we've received 30 of those Samsung tablets, we're also working on setting up a network of booby traps which are basically a simple black cup which works with a filter paper and is used for the capturing of mosquitos. The mosquitos will lay their eggs in these cups and we'll be able to use those eggs, hatch them and identify what are our primary vectors. We also have a set of gravid trap. It’s quite simple device, minimal input, no electricity necessary but its basically a trap which you have with water. Its dark so it basically attracts mosquitos and these traps will serve many purposes. You can use them for the capturing of mosquitos in certain areas and they will trap and kill mosquitos. Likewise you can use those for identifying what mosquito you have in each area. You may ask what is the importance in terms of how this will reduce the burden of ZIKA and Dengue on the population. There are certain things that you must understand. Vector control is a very expensive approach and as you see year in and year out with the increase in cases, last year we had about 360 laboratory confirmed dengue, about 300 confirmed ZIKA cases. I think we're in a situation where no country has the answer to reduce the burden of these diseases significantly. The approach that we're taking is a multi-base approach to see if what we're doing is effective and so the traps will enable us to have mosquitos that are used for insecticide resistance testing."
Peter Hughes, British High Commissioner
"The largest single cause of death on the planet is not conflict, violent crime nor is it the deadly illnesses that we've become used to hearing about such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It is in fact malaria. Move people die of malaria in the world than of any other cause."
Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO - MOH
"Soon to reach the elimination or irradiation of malaria in Belize, we are very close and hopefully we can be one of the first in the region to achieve this goal."
The equipment will be deployed in the Corozal, Orange Walk and Cayo districts.