Charlestown-Nevis- The 27th annual Nevis Public Library summer program, got on the way on Wednesday 3rd August.
The venue for the event, as has been the case for the last several years, is the Charlestown Methodist Church hall.
The program this year is being held under the theme: ‘Our country, our people, our future,’ with a sub-theme: ‘Mosquito borne illnesses: Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever.’
For this year’s program, the focus is on the MOSQUITO and the various types and diseases that they can spread. Double emphasis is being placed on the AEDES aegypti mosquito, the one capable of passing on such diseases as dengue fever; Chikungunya and the prevalent and dreaded ZIKA virus.
After the invocation and the national anthem, Librarian Shoya Lawrence ably chaired the proceedings and she welcomed all present and asked the children to learn as much as possible, as it will hold them in good stead in the future.
Chief Librarian, Miss Anatasia Parris, then gave an overview of the program.
She congratulated the Nevis Public Library staff, past and present, for their dedication and service towards the program for the past 27 years.
She noted that it took genuine love for the children for the staff to come up with innovative programs for the children, year after year.
She enunciated the stated objectives of the program:
- Be able to identify the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its habits
- Increase their knowledge with regards to the symptoms and treatment practices associated with mosquito borne illnesses
- Be able to identify mosquito breeding sites.
- Be reminded of the main control methods to avoid illness.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Judy Nisbett, then delivered an inspirational address, which would have served to motivate the young participants.
She indicated that the mosquito has been referred as ‘the world’s deadliest animal’ and impressed on the persons present that they need to learn as much as they can about it, so that they can adequately deal with it and the threats it poses.
She pointed out that since 2014, there have been 470 recorded cases of Chikungunya on the island and noted that that was only the tip of the iceberg, as many affected persons did not visit the local doctors.
She stated that there are not as yet any recorded cases of the Zika virus on the island but because of its devastating effects, indicated that everyone on the island should unite in sustained efforts, to ensure that it does not get on the island.
She commended the Nevis Public Library on its efforts to educate the children in this regard.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Librarian Glenda Claxton, who in thanking all who had helped to make the program a reality, noted that with the upcoming Olympic games in Brazil, some of the would be participants have pulled out, due to the Zika scare.
The Library program caters for children ages 5 to 16 and will conclude on Friday 12th August with an impressive ceremony at 12.45 pm which will showcase what the children would have learnt.
Over the next week and a half, the children will have lectures from Environmental Health Officers and personnel for the Health Education Unit, on topics relevant to the Mosquito, disease spread, control etc. They will also be involved in field trips; arts and craft, including the making of mosquito catchers; a mosquito hunt and many more fun but educational sessions.
The sessions are set to commence at 9 am and run until 3.30 pm each day.