As if the Covid-19 endemic is not alarming enough, there are other issues that Belize is looking at including malaria and dengue. Recent days have seen an increase in mosquitoes with many residents calling for the Ministry of Health to provide some relief through the spraying of malathion. According to Dr Manzanero the Vector Control Unit is assessing the situation around the country.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “We have noted the particular increase in numbers that are being reported to us. Vector Control is aware and Vector Control is monitoring the situation not only in Belize City where most of the concerns were initially from but across the country. Please note also that we’re doing this following Dengue patterns so this seems to be not just as I said in urban Belize City but across all rural communities. We are also trying to do more targeted spraying ideally we would want to spray everywhere but you would understand that we have limited resources in terms of trucks and human resources and the schedule because it’s not spraying one time but you need to factor that you’ll have to come back and spray at a specific time. So we’re also monitoring where the Dengue cases are happening and those are becoming the priority areas where we’re actually going to go and do the specific spraying process and that’s going to be across the country so it’s not only specific to a given area where we’re having this situation. How effective will the spraying be now that it is raining ? Well that’s also a factor that needs to be taken into account that you cannot be doing spraying when it’s actually raining so you need to be able to factor in when your schedules are going to be in terms of that. Beyond that I think we need to stress also because we keep hearing about spraying but understand that spraying is not the only solution to the mosquito situation, if we don’t put our role as a community if you recall last year when we highlighted the Dengue situation we’re going to face earlier this year we said we have the potential same situation that could happen but it has gotten caught up in the COVID-19 discussion. We had ten deaths last year we can have the same amount of deaths this year if we don’t do a collective effort in trying to curtail the mosquito population so I would also call on the communities to be actively involved in the elimination of breeding sites rather than just anticipating and waiting that the truck is going to come around to do the spraying.”