Sunday 15 December, 2019

Health Minister assures citizens: No malaria outbreak

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is assuring the public that there is no malaria outbreak in Trinidad and Tobago.

Deyalsingh issued a statement on Tuesday in response to media reports that a Venezuelan man was warded at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital with malaria, raising concerns by residents in Cedros that the virus would spread. 

Deyalsingh said however that at this time there was no risk of an outbreak.

"The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that there is no malaria outbreak in Trinidad and Tobago. The confirmed cases of malaria for the year are not unusual," he said.

He said regarding the reported case, the Insect Vector and Control Division has completed an environmental assessment inclusive of residual spraying in the location."

He said the activity has been extended as per protocol into the wider Cedros area and a multidisciplinary team from the county medical officer, CMOH St Patrick, is currently conducting surveillance and health education activities in the targetted community.

He added that malaria evaluators are stationed throughout the country at various health centres and at major hospitals, as well as the Cedros port to collect blood samples from persons demonstrating symptoms suggestive of malaria.

Deyalsingh said the majority of confirmed cases are 'imported from neighbouring countries'.

The Ministry will continue to prevent the spread of malaria through integrated vector control management practices such as indoor residual spraying, larviciding and spraying at the homes and surrounding areas of confirmed cases.

There is also the issuing of bed nets to confirmed and suspected cases, mapping of confirmed cases for targetted interventions using geographic information systems, routine visits throughout T&T to identify breeding sites and facilitate source reduction.

"The Ministry of Health continues to maintain strong partnerships with international agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) inclusive of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to ensure that our insect vector-borne disease control remains consistent with international best practice," Deyalsingh said. 

The Ministry is urging the public to take measures to protect themselves including using mosquito repellent, installing screen doors and windows, wearing protective clothing and most importantly, improving source reduction by keeping their environments clean.

"The Ministry of Health remains committed to ensuring the health and well-being of the population," he said. 

 

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