Expert questions dengue eradication strategy | The Trinidad GuardianPosted: December 30, 2011
Our guest columnist in this two-part series is world expert on dengue, Professor Dave D. Chadee from the Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies who questions the dengue control strategies used in T&T.
…In Tobago as early as 2003 a switch in major mosquito breeding sites from water drums to small containers was reported because of the replacement of water drums by tanks, especially in the Central district. Why, for example, did Trinidad not adopt the strategy of replacing water storage drums with closed tanks? A more dramatic effect may have been expected in Trinidad where drums account for 70 per cent of mosquito breeding sites while, prior to replacement, only 35 per cent in Tobago. The Ministry of Health figures show over 1800 reported dengue cases in July 2011 and the current dengue programmes are being run by three different ministries–Local Government is conducting a source reduction programme or clean-up campaign but unfortunately this will remove less than 5 per cent of the mosquito breeding sites. This strategy was advocated in the 1980s by the Pan American Health Organization and was evaluated in 4 different geographical areas but they all failed to reduce the vector populations to below disease transmission levels. The education programme being run by the Ministry of External Affairs and Communication is targeting householders and is excellent but will have long term benefits rather than short term relief to householders.