South coast faces mosquito invasion

As the authorities struggle to resolve the ongoing sewage overflow crisis on the south coast, health officials are reporting a new public health issue in the same catchment area, partly attributable to the effluent.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George disclosed this afternoon that there was a mosquito control problem on the south coast, which has forced the Ministry of Health to take immediate action to nip it in the bud.

“The mosquitoes are being detected as a Culex mosquito, which is not the Aedes Egypti or the Anopheles mosquito, which particularly carry disease. However, they are a nuisance and mosquitoes are blood sucking insects, so we need to put all our efforts to make sure that that is not brought to a challenge,” Dr George told Barbados TODAY.

The health official said there were several reasons for the mosquito infestation, including heavy rains and the sewage overflows.

“It is due to many reasons: the additional rainfall, the spillage of sewage, the runoff in certain areas. There has been an accumulation of water in that area. In addition, the Graeme Hall swamp has some challenges . . . there is a lot of bush growing around the periphery and the mosquito levels are very, very high,” he said.

Dr George said the Ministry of Health had swung into immediate action and intensified its vector control campaign, particularly in the Worthing and Hastings areas of Christ Church.

“We are doing daily fogging. We started from twice to three times weekly fogging, to daily fogging. Secondly, we are doing our larvicidal distributions, but thirdly we are going to deploy some of the persons from the de-bushing programme to the [Graeme Hall] swamp to try to see if they can reduce some of the brush and undergrowth in the area where we feel mosquitoes have been breeding,” he explained, adding that the ministry was of the view that the insects were breeding on the periphery of the swamp.

The Culex can spread Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and West Nile fever, according to the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer said the ministry was eager to test water samples at five properties occupied by staff of the United States embassy following a medical alert issued by the Americans last week, stating that the tap water was unfit for consumption.

In the January 25 alert published on its website, the embassy said the tests had revealed “bacteria at elevated levels in the tap water”.

As a precaution it recommended to its staff to boil their drinking water or use bottled water.   

However, Dr George this afternoon restated a position previously expressed last week by the then Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best, that the tests by the Americans had left much to be desired.

He also told Barbados TODAY the ministry would liaise with the embassy to determine a date and time for a joint test at the same residences.

“We are continuing to work with the US embassy because we would also like to test the same samples. The water they tested and gave results to the public, they did it independently, but they haven’t invited us yet to do our testing. So they did tests, but we haven’t been given the opportunity to test. However, we are working together to make sure we can agree on an acceptable where and when [place and date] to test also. We haven’t tested their site yet,” Dr George said, adding that he expected to hear from the Americans “in a couple days”.   

In the meantime, he said, there would be pushbacks by the authorities here against the information put out by Washington, which suggested that this island’s drinking water was not safe for drinking.

“We are going to be pushing back heavily on what was reported which stated basically from the United States declaration that the water in Barbados wasn’t safe. We are going to do major pushback because the evidence is there. The Barbados Water Authority even went further today to say they are 100 per cent sure that the water is safe in all of Barbados,” the senior medical official emphasized.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

10 Responses to South coast faces mosquito invasion

  1. luther thorne February 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    CALL ELECTIONS NOW

    The DLP is so lusting after Power
    So power hungry they are afraid to call elections .
    If they were confident of winning they would have called elections.
    If they were statesmen , they would call elections.
    This shows clearly that the DLP is just interested in what they can squeeze out of the Public purse to fill up their own pockets.

    We have to go back to having people in politics who are not hand to mout . This crowd looks towards Politics to make them RICH. We need a change to people who already got money. Politics in Barbados should be about you serving the Country not the Country serving you.

    The largest Cabinet ever in the History of Barbados with people like Irene, Patrick , Jepster, Harry and Esther – all losing candidates and people like Darcy and Maxine who never run nuh where holding jobs and getting paid and nuff benefits . This is what it is all about – Money! No Conscience at all !. Time for this expletive deleted Nonsense to stop.

    And Bajans not out demonstrating ?
    Docile Lazyasses !

    Reply
  2. Pat Clarke February 1, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Luther, the Clock is ticking. One month gone. Soon it will be two and before you know it, their backsides will be out of Government. They can’t prolong it forever. I am looking forward to waking up on July 1st (God’s Will) if not before, to a Barbados on the road to recovery. Barbados right now is like a patient with stage four cancer – very close to death. God help us if this Government is returned to power, because death would be sure. The Calypsonian who sang “We still Standing Tall” should realize that we are really not standing. Yes we are still alive, but we are lying in bed just waiting to breath our last breath. The only reason we are still alive at this stage is because we were in very good health prior to 2008. Hopefully we can get checked into a very good hospital very soon where we will be taken care of by some very intelligent doctors who know what to do to get us back to good health. I just trust that after we recover this time, that Barbadians don’t develop amnesia in 2023.

    Reply
  3. John Everatt February 2, 2018 at 2:50 am

    You can believe anything you like but I boil my water. Living on the south coast is a bit scary right now and I have to dodge cars splashing me with sewage every day. This has been going on for too long. We need some competent people in the BWA and the government.

    Reply
  4. Richard Johnston February 2, 2018 at 4:29 am

    If it’s not one thing it’s another.

    Reply
  5. Heather February 2, 2018 at 5:09 am

    They should all take pay cuts until the situ is solved.

    Reply
  6. chris hill February 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Beware the DLP will do everything to remain in power. we should expect more meandering on all issue, more critic talk from ministers and their permanent secretaries, more posturing in these last days of parliament and plenty vote buying. but day runs till night catches it.

    Reply
  7. Sheron Inniss February 2, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Wunnuh could say wuh wunnuh like i boils my water, drink filtered water or bottle water at all times and i don’t live on the south coast.

    I know what colour water comes out the taps i use and it don’t always be pretty and sometimes the chlorine does be killing you.

    Next thing wuh wunnuh expect? No mosquitoes; steupse. i believe the aim right now is to see how many people yuh all can make ill or kill off.

    ‘Cause common sense really ain’t common.

    Reply
  8. harry turnover February 2, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Francis the talking MULE…where are YOU now ? I want you to come out of the comforts of the WOOD WORKS and ask…WHAT IS HIS AGENDA .
    You seem to have a MASSIVE problem when people produce FACTS in the line or work that they are QUALIFIED IN when they are not in agreement with your OWN AGENDA.

    Reply
    • Spectre February 2, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Agreed

      Reply
  9. John Walmark February 2, 2018 at 9:01 am

    And you wonder why tourists that know B’dos well , like us , that have travelled there and stayed on South Coast are not returning g …..

    Reply

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