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COSMISCA holds four-day meeting in Belize

The Councils of Ministers of Health for Central America, COMISCA, is holding a four day meeting to come up with a regional plan to address vector borne diseases.  Love news spoke with Kim Bautista, Vector Control Chief of Operations at the Ministry of Health, who said that during the meeting they will also be forming a special committee to advise COMISCA in the area of entomology.

Kim Bautista Vector Control Chief of Operations at Ministry of Health: “Basically what we are doing is that one: we are confirming the members of that technical committee. We are prioritizing the lines of work to develop a strategic plan for the region for entomology, then we will also be looking at the need for training of human resources in the area of entomology. All of it geared at the prevention and the control of major vector borne diseases such as Dengue, Zika, Malaria in the region.”

Bautista explained that in every vector control programme there has to be a plan that addresses entomology.

Kim Bautista Vector Control Chief of Operations at Ministry of Health: “Entomology in a vector control program will entail knowing in this case mosquitoes that you have within the country. The type of habit that these type of mosquitoes are breathing in. The behaviors of these various mosquitoes and what that does is it enables the countries to determine the level of risk within these areas where the mosquitoes are located. If you tie that into the fact that you also need to monitor insecticide resistance, in a nutshell are the chemicals we are applying to control mosquitoes working because it’s a costly intervention. So the regional strategic plan we want to develop will look at doing that. The countries have experts in this area to support the various national programs. Do we know the risk levels in terms of the different vectors that we have, specifically mosquito vectors and do we know if the intervention that we are using to control these vectors, if they are working.”

 Bautista added that at the end of the four day meeting there should be in place a draft strategic plan for entomology and they should have identified partners that can contribute to this process.