Though the vector control unit in Manchester has heightened its vector control management in the parish, Chief Public Health Inspector for the parish, Charmaine Palmer-Cross, is appealing to residents to take personal responsibility in reducing the impact of mosquito breeding and mosquito-borne diseases.
“We need to take personal responsibility for eliminating mosquito breeding sites by properly discarding items that collect water (old drums, used tyres and plastic containers); installing mosquito netting over beds; wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors; using a DEET repellant; regularly changing water in animal and pet containers and covering all water storage containers with a suitable material including mesh” Mrs. Palmer-Cross urged.
She added that persons should also punch holes in tins before placing them in bins; wash and scrub the inside of water storage containers to properly destroy mosquito eggs; keep areas free from excessive vegetation and properly store garbage.
The Chief Public Health Inspector pointed out that tyres and drums are two of the primary breeding sites in Manchester for the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes and urged residents to work with the vector control workers to destroy mosquito breeding sites.
“We are appealing to residents to cooperate with the vector control workers when they enter the community to employ vector control measures. The team has been working diligently, going from premises to premises in order to conduct mosquito search and destroy and educate residents. However, we are faced with the challenges of persons refusing workers access to their premises, even though they are properly identified and also not taking responsibility for mosquito breeding sites on their premises” Mrs. Palmer-Cross said.
She noted that persons who refuse the health team access to their premises to employ vector control activities can be charged a maximum fine of $1,000,000.00. She explained that the Public Health Act gives Public Health Inspectors the power to enter premises to execute these functions and failure to do so can result in prosecution. Persons who do not take steps to rid their premises of mosquito breeding sites can also be prosecuted and charged a maximum fine of $500,000.00
Mrs. Palmer-Cross added that more than 100 permanent and temporary vector control workers in Manchester have been working assiduously educating residents; inspecting and destroying mosquito breeding sites; distributing drum covers to householders and conducting increased fogging (adulticidal) activities.