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Community participation is critical to the success of any program designed to eliminate breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Efforts are doomed to failure if even one household is negligent.” So said Dr C James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), as he commented on the importance of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, which is being observed from May 8-12.

In his assessment of the mosquito prevention efforts in the Region thus far, Dr Hospedales noted that strategies for the control of the mosquito, which causes Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika are failing, and stated that what is needed is an “all hands onboard approach.”

Dr Karen Polson Edwards, CARPHA Assistant Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention Control, supports the inclusive approach, noting that “mosquitoes are social creatures and we are their preferred host. The message of taking ten minutes a week to check surroundings for and destroying any breeding sites is always relevant and should become part of our routine.”

The purpose of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, which is in its second year, is to bring greater awareness to the mosquito vector, through education and social engagement in CARPHA member states. It is hoped that greater awareness and engagement would bring about behavioural change leading to the elimination of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and greater personal protection, especially as the rainy season approaches.

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