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CARPHA Urges The Public To Protect Themselves Against Mosquito Borne Diseases

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#Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – May 13, 2020 – “Countries around the world have battled the spread of COVID-19 by closing borders, placing national restrictions on population movement and integrating further social distancing measures into everyday life. This was done to ensure that our health care systems are not overwhelmed in the identification and management of COVID-19 cases.  In the midst of this pandemic we must be mindful that other public health threats still exist. Mosquito borne diseases, such as, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika, have placed an additional burden on our Region’s health care systems, and negatively impact social and economic development. As individuals and communities, we each have a role to play in preventing an upsurge of mosquito borne diseases,” stated CARPHA Executive Director, Dr Joy St. John, in observance of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2020.

“During 2019, the Caribbean Region experienced another outbreak of Dengue, with many CARPHA Member States reporting an increase in the number of severe and hospitalised cases. Dengue outbreaks tend to occur in cycles every few years due to a complex interplay between population, ecological and climatic factors”, said Dr. Laura-Lee Boodram, Head of Vector Borne Diseases at CARPHA.   She further added, “While we haven’t seen a resurgence of Chikungunya or Zika within Member States in the last few years, countries in South and Central America did report outbreaks of Chikungunya in 2019 and early 2020, therefore, the Caribbean must remain vigilant.”

Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week (CMAW) was declared in November 2014 at the 17th Special Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government on Public Health Threats. It is an important reminder to the general public to take action to reduce their risk of diseases spread by mosquitoes.

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For CMAW 2020, CARPHA’s slogan states, “In times of COVID – Let’s Unite to Fight the Bite!”, placing emphasis on taking preventative measures and remaining healthy during this time.  As the rainy season starts, it is expected that greater rainfall will lead to a proliferation of mosquito breeding sites, build vector populations and increase the risk of transmission of diseases, such as Dengue.  To counter this increase in mosquitoes and potential disease transmission, greater effort should be placed on mosquito awareness in communities and vector control activities should be intensified.

Mr Rajesh Ragoo, Senior Technical Officer, Vector Borne Diseases, CARPHA recommends, “The best way to “fight the bite” around homes and communities, is to ensure our surroundings are clean and free of materials or containers that can accumulate water. The base of plants pots, vases, buckets and used vehicles tires are typical breeding sites. Water storage drums and tanks must be properly covered and inspected periodically to ensure that there is no breeding. It is also important to minimize individual exposure to mosquito bites.” Vulnerable groups such as infants, young children, older adults and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant must exercise extra caution. Personal protective measures including the wearing of long sleeved clothing and the use of insect repellents are strongly recommended.

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In late 2019, CARPHA entered into a grant agreement with the European Union, which supports regional prevention and control efforts against mosquito borne diseases. Focus will be placed on strengthening Member States disease surveillance systems and vector control operations, expanding community engagement, public health education and increasing partnerships and collaborations  to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with mosquito borne diseases.

CARPHA has developed Mission Mosquito, an innovative information toolkit, which includes animated videos, posters and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).  The toolkit is specially packaged to meet the needs of a diverse audience, which include public health professionals and clinicians, pregnant women, and children. The toolkit is available here  http://missionmosquito.carpha.org/

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

Jamaica agricultural advancements despite bad weather

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Credit:JIS

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Jamaica#Agriculture, April 11, 2024 Despite the bad weather conditions in 2023, especially the drought period, Jamaica was able to achieve its second highest domestic crop production on record with over 700 thousand tonnes of local crops produced. This was announced by state minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Franklin Witter, on Sunday April 7, at the 41st annual National Farmers’ Month church service held in Trelawney.

 

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Caribbean News

Guyana Wildfires

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Wildfires#Guyana, April 11, 2024 – Wildfires have been affecting Guyana, the most recent in the Timehri Community on the north-eastern side since April 4, according to a release from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO).

The report says according to PAHO, as of April 5, 28 people have been displaced in a shelter in the Santa Aratack Village. Additionally, the JRC Global Wildfire Information System, also featured in the release, says the total burnt area is more than 16,500 ha.

This comes nearly a month after a 93 year old man was killed by a wildfire in north West Guyana.

Reports say the entire region is dealing with wildfires including Venezuela, Central America and Mexico with a record number of fires, and a major increase compared to the same period in 2023.

 

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Caribbean News

Efforts to deliver education to Children in Haiti – Schools still closed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Education, April 9, 2024 – With schools across Haiti still shut down due to intense gang violence, UNICEF is making efforts to deliver education to students, working with the Ministry of Education. They are trying to deliver distance learning through radio, television and e-learning platforms and right now, solutions are being explored through Haiti’s national radio station. Announced in a press release by UN News on April 7, this comes as UN agencies warned that Haitian children are suffering from not just a lack of education but also primary exposure to violence.

 

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