Action Bequia has the ambition to reduce the negative impact of mosquitoes on Bequia and the whole of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Working closely with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment’s Vector Control Unit (MoHWE), Action Bequia has spent considerable resources on the reduction, through environmental clean ups of mosquito breeding sites.
It is clear however that traditional methods including those clean ups, larviciding and intensive fogging help, but do not eliminate the health risks.
These health risks are of prime importance. One mosquito variety, the aedes aegypti, non indigenous to the Caribbean, has caused serious problems in Bequia over the last few years.
The diseases carried by them include: Dengue which has a significant death rate especially amongst the victims that have contracted multiple varieties, Chikungunya that can cause months or even years of painful suffering and Zika which can cause microcephaly (shrunken heads in new born), GBS (Guillain-Barré syndrome) and possibly shrunken male sex organs (see box below).
Action Bequia is encouraging the MoHWE to look at two aggressive new methods of aedes aegypti elimination that are getting global attention and being recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the US FDA for pilot program use.
These new approaches can be summarized as being either the use of the Wolbachia virus or the use of genetically modified male mosquitoes (Oxitec513A). Both of these techniques have been approved for trials in countries with very tough regulatory regimes. The Oxitec 513A solution has been given the go ahead by the US FDA. It is not time for timidity and the WHO and FDA support should be sufficient to eliminate any local, un-researched, concerns.
Shrunken Male Sex Organs
Zika may cause men's testicles to shrink by up to 90 per cent and permanently reduce fertility, medical researchers warn.
Professor Michael Diamond, of the Washington University School of Medicine said: 'We undertook this study to understand the consequences of Zika virus infection in males.
While our study was in mice -and with the caveat that we don't yet know whether Zika has the same effect in men, after two weeks the (mice’s) testicles had shrunken significantly, their 'internal structure collapsing' with many dead or dying cells, the researchers said. And after three weeks, the mice’s testicles had shrunk to a tenth of their normal size.
Cleaning up to reduce the mosquito population.
Young or old - all can help.
The clean up of the island continues.
Even the bosses get down to clean up.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words