Trinidad health authorities deny malaria outbreak
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government has dismissed reports of an outbreak of malaria in the country after the media reported that a Venezuelan national had been hospitalised with the virus.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that there is no malaria outbreak in Trinidad and Tobago. The confirmed cases of malaria for the year are not unusual,” Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that the confirmed number of cases recorded so far this year “are not unusual” and that the majority of confirmed cases had been imported from neighbouring countries, but gave neither figures nor did it name the countries.
Deyalsingh said regarding the reported case the Insect Vector and Control Division has completed an environmental assessment inclusive of residual spraying in the location.
He said the activity has been extended, as per protocol, into the wider Cedros area, a peninsula at the South-Western end of the island, and a multidisciplinary team from the county medical office is now conducting surveillance and health education activities in the targeted community.
The Ministry said that malaria evaluators are stationed throughout the country at various health centres and at major hospitals and at the Cedros Port of Entry to collect blood samples from individuals demonstrating symptoms suggestive of malaria.
It said that it would continue to maintain strong partnerships with international agencies such as the World Health Organisation, the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA) “to ensure our insect vector-borne disease control, remains consistent with international best practice."