Authorities from the Ministry of Health are appealing to citizens to exercise greater caution as they store water in tanks on their properties.
Senior Environmental Health Officer Richard Bourne has raised concern that the poor storage of water was contributing to the breeding of mosquitoes.
“Water tanking is becoming a problem now, the scarcity of water is causing people to store water and if it is not done in the correct way, it will breed a lot of mosquitoes,” said Bourne while speaking at a lecture on pest control at Rices St. Philip yesterday.
The health officer for the St John polyclinic revealed that officials have been making door-to-door visits to residents to ensure that there were not illegally breeding mosquitoes on their properties.
“They [the health officials] would show them how to do it the correct way because breeding mosquitoes on your premises is against the law,” noted Bourne.
Principal Environmental Health Officer at the St. Philip Polyclinic, Maurice Griffith who also addressed the gathering, disclosed that six people have appeared before the law courts for the illegal breeding of mosquitos. Two persons were convicted between 2014-2015 and four cases were pending.
Griffith identified St Andrew, which has been severely hit by water outages as an area of concern.
“Persons are collecting water and storing water for domestic use, and also for animal purposes. This water that they are collecting is not stored adequately and hence you are getting some mosquito breeding from them,” Griffith said.
He also listed St Michael communities – Brittons Hill, the Garrison, and Deighton as well as Sargeants Village, Christ Church as hot spots for mosquito breeding.
The environmental officer stressed that the breeding of mosquitoes was a serious issue particularly since the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes was the host for Dengue, Yellow fever, Chikungunya and Zika.
“We are concerned that the Aedes aegypti can transfer dengue and Chikungunya at the same time and if someone has a predisposed condition like Asthma, Lupus, high blood pressure or Diabetes, then to contract Dengue and Chikungunya at the same time, they will be faced with three different diseases,” Griffith warned.
He suggested residents use products like mosquito dunks or aquatain for their tanking systems.
“Those are products that are biological friendly that you can use to put into water tanks because we’re seeing a significant increase in mosquito problems with water tanks. A good way of keeping mosquitoes out of water tanks is to use a product called mosquito dunk, which is a bacteria… [It] stops the larvae from developing into the adult stage,” informed Griffith.
Organizer of the educational lecture, Corlius Weekes-Grazette from the 4-H Club, explained that the event was aimed at sensitizing young children about the dangers of mosquitoes.
Weekes-Grazette, the coordinator for the South Central zone added that once the kids were well informed they would be in a position to educate their parents.
“If they see water laying around at home or outside, they would know that they can also inform their parents that it is not a good thing to do,” she said.