'Just fogging and de-bushing will not control mosquitoes'
Physician calls for enhanced mosquito vector-control programmeSunday, October 10, 2021
A local physician is urging the Government to revitalise the mosquito vector control programme in an effort to control disease-causing mosquitoes, such as the Aedes aegypti that spread dengue fever.
In an interview with OBSERVER ONLINE, Dr Lincoln Wright, a community-based physician in Port Maria, St Mary, particularly called for more public education and door-to-door inspection similar to that of a “vibrant” mosquito vector control programme in the 1960s, he said.
According to Wright, only “spraying and de-bushing” will not control the mosquitoes.
“Fogging should not be the only major mosquito control. In the early 60s and pre-independence, what we had was (a programme called) Mosquito Vector Control Programme. That programme needs to be resuscitated,” Dr Wright said.
He continued: “you had public health inspectors going to the homes of citizens, because I remember as a little boy the public health inspector came to my house and spoke to my parents about what to do to control the mosquitoes. This was important as a little boy because I said 'boy imagine, they care about us so much they came to the house.' It made a great impact on my mind, those programmes need to be revamped.”
Additionally, the doctor said the Government should make an announcement when mosquito fogging is to be done in different communities, because the chemical can be very harmful when inhaled.
“It is only proper to try to provide a schedule. Persons can die due to allergic reactions because of the chemical that is there,” Dr Wright stated, adding that people with respiratory illnesses should be extra careful when inhaling the chemicals from fogging.
For the people who have had allergic reactions and those who have respiratory illnesses, he said, “if they have that problem it is really something they must consider and that is why it is best for them to announce when they are going in [the communities] so people can know what to do; they can put on whatever safety devices over their faces and nose, ensure that inhalation of the chemical is to a minimum because it is an irritant.”
There have been increasing complaints about mosquitoes since the island was affected by pockets of heavy rainfall last summer.
- Candice Haughton