The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in collaboration with the Vector Control Services of the Ministry of Health and the Guyana Red Cross Society through funding from UNICEF has successfully trained sixteen (16) volunteers to support efforts to eradicate mosquito breeding sites in Guyana.
Participants were introduced to chemicals used in Vector Control and Safety precautions, Larvaciding, Indoor Residual Spraying, Fogging and Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH).
The training sessions were held from 1ST April, 2016 to 3rd April, 2016 in the boardroom of the Civil Defence Commission, located at Thomas Road, Thomas Land, Georgetown.
Deputy Director General of the CDC, Major Kester Craig said that the Community Focused Integrated Vector Control Project emanated from the fact that there is a deficit in the capacity to continue fogging in the fight against viruses caused by the aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These include Dengue, Chikunguya and Zika.
Major Craig said the intention is to train one hundred and twenty (120) persons across the country. Those identified for training include volunteers, military personnel, and persons within the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs). The training will continue shortly in regions 5, 6 and 9.
“The community should look at this as the government providing a service. They should come out and support the teams that are working within their communities to help fight Zika,” Major Craig said.
Vector Control Services, Trainer, Keith Moore, who conducted the theoretical aspect of the training pointed out that the department is grossly understaffed hence the urgent need to train persons to carry out its functions. He said since many Guyanese do not understand the dangers of the mosquito transmitted viruses, it is expected that the newly trained persons will educate them.
“The first thing people can do is learn to keep their surroundings clean. Get rid of any receptacle that can hold water in their yards like tires and cans. Keep the gutters and the roof clean…anything that would prevent water from accumulating because that is where the mosquitoes lay their eggs,” he said.
The practical aspect of the training was conducted by Chief Inspector, David Williams, Vector Control Services who took participants into the field to identify mosquito breeding sites. Participants were shown how to apply Temephos (Abate) sand granules to identified areas. This is an organic phosphate insecticide that is effective against the larvae of certain aquatic insects. Fogging exercises were also conducted as part of the training. Participants will soon join the Staff at the Vector Control Services to conduct similar exercises countrywide. Areas with identified and suspected cases of the Zika virus have been identified for the next fogging exercise. Participants from the training have already indicated their interest in the exercise.