Vector Control Network for Caribbean countries to be implemented

first_imgThe Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), World Health Organization (WHO), along with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has initiated the process of a proposed framework for a formal Caribbean network on the surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases.According to CARPHA the formalisation of the Caribbean Network is expected to take place before end of 2016. It stated that one of the research priorities identified is investigating insecticide resistance of the vectors of arboviruses, which are groups of viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods.With the emergence of Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya, the region has labelled vector surveillance and control a priority. Zika, the latest of the vector borne diseases, has been reported in more than 30 countries of the Americas. This disease, along with Dengue and Chikungunya, continue to threaten the health, tourism, social and economic development of the Region.Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at CARPHA stated that the Region: “Have been waging a losing battle and so the battle strategy needs to change if we are to win the war.”In 2015, there was an outbreak of Chikungunya in Guyana; the National Insurance Scheme was laden with sick leave from employees from all over the country. However, the then Ministry had remained adamant that the situation was under control. CARPHA was receiving estimated data on the situation.“During the 4-day discussion in the island of St Kitts and Nevis, country representatives described their vector control operation systems, discussed research activities on vectors with a special focus on insecticide resistance and reviewed new vector control tools. Presentations suggested highly variable levels of testing, methodology and insecticide resistance,” CARPHA stated.It noted that the harmonisation of the methods to study this insecticide resistance was strongly recommended, as well as further investigations into supportive vector control strategies and capacity necessary to address this.Also research on community participation was deemed a priority because prevention through reducing the numbers of mosquito breeding sites is one of the most powerful tools for reducing diseases transmission.“Communities can do a great deal to reduce this transmission through water management and protecting homes. Prior TDR research has shown how communities can make significant improvements, and the Caribbean network members would like to use this approach to study what works best in this region,” CARPHA said, noting that other recommendations were made to link relevant networks already in place, to develop specific research and operational projects, and identify funding for the network’s continuation.A website will be set up by CARPHA for the network, providing open access to all the reports, guidelines, WHO recommendations and publications.The concept was initiated by TDR, which also funded the start-up of the consortium led by CARPHA. The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) was also involved in this meeting.So far, there have been 12 reported cases of Zika virus in Guyana. The Public Health Ministry has called on women not to get pregnant since the virus can affect the development of the unborn baby, causing brain disorders such as microcephaly.In terms of a child being born with microcephaly – a rare birth defect said to be linked to the Zika virus, which causes the baby to be born with a small head or the head stops growing after birth—the Ministry said it has already set up procedures in the event of such a case.The ministry has embarked on a campaign to distribute treated bed nets to all pregnant women in health centres and private clinics.The World Health Organisation has labelled the Zika Virus as an emergency crisis.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *