Rat chat

Health official warns about rodent problem

Environmental Health Officer at the Randal Phillips Polyclinic Deborah Nurse-Batson has appealed to Barbadians to be a “little bit more tidy and clean” in order to help control the rodent population.

While not immediately providing supporting data, Nurse-Batson this morning told new students of the American University of Barbados (AUB) that poor garbage disposal habits were contributing to a rat problem here.

“In Barbados right now we are having a problem with rats, and rats are encouraged because of our habits – the practice of humans where we don’t practice [proper] storage of our garbage or proper disposal. All of these things lead to the encouragement of rodents,” she insisted.

In her address at the 2016 spring semester orientation ceremony at the AUB where as she gave a presentation on the types of vector and rodent related diseases and signs and symptoms of these diseases, the health official said there were three known species of rodents in Barbados – the house mouse, the roof rat and the ground rat.

Environmental health officer at the Randal Phillips Polyclinic Deborah Nurse-Batson
Environmental health officer at the Randal Phillips Polyclinic
Deborah Nurse-Batson

Nurse-Batson later told Barbados TODAY she could not say if the occasional pile up of garbage across the island or the illegal dumping resulted in an increase in the rodent population. However, she admitted that they were contributing factors.

“There is no denial that we have rodents and there is no denying that because of our practices there are rodents. I can’t say there is an increase or decrease but we know they are there. And if we want to eliminate them we should practice safer habits to get rid of the ones we know are there now,” she explained.

She stressed that if Barbadians were proud of their country and wanted to boast of it as “the best place in the [Western] Hemisphere and the best place in the universe”, the onus was on them to be their own health inspectors. She said they ought not wait for inspectors to “come around and tell you this is garbage, dispose of it properly”.

The environmental health official added that if Barbadians wanted to strive for a healthier lifestyle they needed to go beyond exercise and healthy eating and pay more attention to their garbage disposal habits.

“If garbage is disposed of properly and collected properly then we wouldn’t have so many instances of rodents on the island. Rodents are attracted to human beings and the way they live and the way they dispose of the garbage.

“So we all need to learn and to understand that the rats come around because of what we do; because of lifestyles and practices and if we can learn to be a little bit more tidy and clean, – not saying that Barbadians aren’t clean or tidy – I am just saying that there might be a fraction [of the society] or some people that just don’t realize that if you throw away a candy paper, if you pelt away a sno-cone cup or throw away a piece of food or if you put out food for the pets, that these things can encourage rodents and vectors, and vectors spread diseases,” explained Nurse-Batson.

5 Responses to Rat chat

  1. Observer January 12, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Deborah Batson no direspect but the real problem is the garbage collection you have trash all over barbados just sitting around waiting week after week until it perfume the atmosphere with stench, breading flies plenty of food for rodents, so what you need to do is concentrate on garbage collection that is the problem

  2. Watchman January 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

    @ Observer given the light shone on illegal dumping in the last few months and the litter I see for myself I disagree with you. Littering is widespread in Barbados. Regardless of the performance of the SSA, littering is a major factor on its own.

  3. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield January 12, 2016 at 11:08 am

    We have a lot of nasty people in this island .Whether the garbage is collected fast or slow many of our people are just plain nasty .and wufless .You see a bin and it is empty while all around it is filled with litter .Many of us are quick to litter .Until everyone sees themselves responsible for cleanliness of their space and the island as a whole Zika , Mosquitoes and everything will be a worry .

  4. Tony Waterman January 13, 2016 at 1:42 am

    @Watchman, i am not aware of where you are located, (Overseas or Barbados) and if Overseas how often you visit Barbados or if at all, but as someone who is there and has been going back every year for a Month (Sometime twice per Year) i amin TOTAL agreement with #Observer and Claire Battershield, when i am in Barbados i go EVERY day to Browns Beach, and am APPALED at the amount of Garbage being CREATED there, i also have Noticed that the Steel drums provided as Garbage Cans are ALWAYS Turned Upside Down, which leaves on;y those Basket looking things for garbage, so on many occasions I Turn them upside and clean up all the garbage spilled around them, whilst the Workers that are supposed to be doing that job are sitting in the Change room Building doing NOTHING.
    Plastic Food and Drink Containers Should be Banned from the Beaches, I have seen people throw these containers out their Car Windows, and it does NOT Help that the SSA apparently has 25 Garbage trucks, but only 15 of them are Operational.
    and with all of these Health Hazards just waiting to ex[lode on us all Freundel is interested in is his Legacy, as the Politician who Turned Barbados into a Republic, ouside of that “He ain’t saying Nothing”


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