Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Jamaicans urged to get rid of mosquito breeding sites around the home

Published:Monday | June 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Director, health promotion and protection, in the Ministry of Health, Dr Sonia Copeland, (left) and national epidemiologist Dr Karen Webster-Kerr use a Pan-American Health Organisation chart to highlight some of the unusual sites for mosquito breeding in and around the home.

The Ministry of Health is reminding the public to become familiar with the habits of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and to act accordingly in ridding their environment of its breeding sites in and around the home.

Director of health promotion and protection in the ministry Dr Sonia Copeland said the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the implicated vector for the Zika virus, is very domesticated and is generally found in and around places where people live.

Copeland explained that they can be found in places such as water-storage drums or uncovered tanks, discarded children's toys, pet containers, unmaintained swimming pools, flower pots and saucers and roof guttering.

"You will need to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites by getting rid of old tyres and containers in which water can settle, punching holes in tins before disposing of them, and covering large drums, barrels and tanks holding water," she added.

Copeland also pointed out that mosquito breeding sites can be found indoors as well and recommended that special attention be paid to dish drainers and refrigerator trays.

Meanwhile, outlining one of the five strategies in the ministry's Integrated Vector Control Programme, Medical Entomologist in the ministry Sherine Huntley-Jones said the ministry places a high premium on social mobilisation and community participation and that persons are being encouraged to take action and put an end to mosquito breeding in their surroundings.

She explained that the mosquito needs only a small amount of water to breed, and as such, can be found in even very small containers.

"The Aedes aegypti will never breed in a gully or a drain or river. It will breed in a containerised environment, so as it relates to controlling this vector, you are looking for containers in and around the home," she noted.