By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Central Board of Health (CBH) recently organized a workshop on insecticidal resistance, which yielded promising results indicating that mosquitoes remain susceptible to the chemicals used in their control efforts.
From September 18th to 22nd, this collaborative workshop was conducted in partnership with the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and brought together a diverse group of participants, including Laboratory Technicians and Vector Control specialists from the Department of Analytics Services.
The workshop’s primary focus was to assess insecticides’ efficacy in combatting the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, known for its role in spreading diseases like Dengue.
Acting Principal Public Health Inspector Julienne Mannix emphasized that the workshop’s findings demonstrate that the mosquito eradication chemicals are still effective and can continue to be utilized as control measures.
“At the end of the training with the test that we ran, we realized, okay then the mosquitoes did not build up a resistance to the chemical that we are using, so, it is still something that we can use when we are doing adulticide. Because we don’t want a situation when we are using that method for mosquito control especially if it is a situation we have confirmed dengue cases that the chemical is not knocking down the mosquitoes,” Mannix said.
She added, “You would then have a situation where mosquitoes would be able to continuously travel”.
Mannix said this is good news for the Vector Control Department. Caribbean countries are placing greater emphasis on their vector control in light of rising cases of Dengue Fever.
“The staffers and vector control play a very vital and important role where we do our checks because we mostly go out in the field educating the public on the dangers posed by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. We are checking signs, doing reduction, we are treating containers if we find that they have larvae inside. We are also doing elimination of these containers,” Mannix said.
Jamaica, Guyana, and several other countries in the Caribbean have recently reported an increase in Dengue cases. While the figures were not readily available, health officials say the cases in Antigua and Barbuda are relatively low.