Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week Urges Public Action Against Vector-Borne Diseases

Source: Caribbean News Service
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) launches the 2024 iteration of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week (CMAW) from May 13th to 17th, emphasizing the ongoing battle against mosquito-borne diseases in the Region. Throughout the week, CARPHA aims to spotlight both the challenges and solutions in controlling mosquito populations and preventing diseases such as Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, and Malaria.

With reports from the last year (2023) indicating 2,307 suspected and 927 laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue, the urgency for effective disease management is clear.

The risks of hospitalisation and tragic loss of life underscore the critical need for preventative measures.

Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA, highlights the importance of this initiative in addressing the significant health challenges posed by vectors like mosquitoes by emphasising that a coordinated effort is crucial for success. “The Caribbean cannot tackle this problem in a haphazard manner,” she states. “We need the involvement of everyone – from Ministries of Health to hotels, schools, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We also need the media’s help, but most of all, we need the commitment of our Caribbean citizens.”

The theme, “Small Bite, Big Threat,” and this year’s slogan “Stop disease transmission, start source reduction,” serve as powerful reminders of the potential consequences of inaction and the importance of proactive community involvement. By eliminating mosquito breeding sites, the spread of these life-threatening diseases can be significantly mitigated.

Dr. Horace Cox, Assistant Director, SDPC and Head, Vector Borne Diseases at CARPHA highlighted the importance of taking action, “Simple actions, such as maintaining clear drains, securely covering water containers and proper disposal of tyres, can drastically reduce mosquito breeding sites, ultimately leading to decreased disease transmission.”

As CMAW unfolds, CARPHA encourages everyone in the region to participate and take proactive steps towards creating a safer, healthier future for the Caribbean. Your actions can lead to significant changes and help protect the community from the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases.

Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week is funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF Programme of support for health system strengthening for prevention and control of outbreaks of Zika and other mosquito borne diseases in the Caribbean.

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