Minister of Health Releases Message on World Health Day
Minister of Health, Honourable Julius Timothy has endorsed the World Health Day message “Small bites, Big threats”.
On April 7th 2014, during the Minister’s World Health Day message, he said the Ministry will focus on Vector-borne diseases because of the significant concerns related to these diseases.
“At present, climate change is raising concerns over the possible expansion in the incidence of vector borne diseases. The effect of climate change is seen in extreme events, which are introducing major fluctuations in weather cycles”, he said.
An increase in rainfall patterns has the potential to increase the number of breeding sites and extreme temperatures can slow down or speed up the development and survival of insect vectors, as well as the incubation period of some pathogens.
With the exception of Canada and mainland Chile, most countries live with the Aedes aegypti mosquito, capable of transmitting dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses.
“The country is also at risk for Malaria and West Nile Virus since the vectors transmitting these diseases are present on the island and the diseases are endemic in neighbouring countries.”
The Minister continued, “In areas where urban infrastructure is poor…the irregular use of space enables the creation of habitats favourable to vectors and their consequent spread”.
The Ministry has sent special commendations to the Environmental Health Department, National Public Response and Surveillance Team and the Health Promotion Unit, along with several partners who have assisted over the past decades in the management of Vector-Borne Diseases in Dominica.