British Virgin Islands

‘Project Bug Out’ To Fight Zika

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A public/private partnership has been established to chart the path towards mosquito eradication on Virgin Gorda.

The ‘Project Bug Out’ partnership is part of efforts to reduce the potential impact of the Zika Virus on the sister island. The project’s steering committee is comprised of community members from private, pubic and non-government sectors and will seek to ensure that all residents of Virgin Gorda and surrounding cays are aware of the immediate measures that they can take to support mosquito eradication.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ronald Georges said that the group is comprised of representatives from the hotel industry, the Tourist Board, Sister Islands Coordinator and private individuals who have interest in mosquito control on Virgin Gorda.

Dr. Georges stated that the group understands that Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue Fever could be devastating to the Virgin Gorda economy.

Dr. Georges said in addition to raising awareness, the group has committed to mobilise community clean ups, ensuring that residents have information on how to prevent mosquito breeding and have access to things they might need, like mosquito traps and nets to cover barrels and cisterns.

Dr. Georges reported that the current situation on Virgin Gorda shows that there are several open wells that can be a source of mosquito breeding. He said, “Almost all of the houses have water catchments and some of them are open and uncovered. Boulders have a lot of natural breeding spots where water can be collected. The dump is a concern and there is a lot of bulky waste around the valley.”

The Chief Medical Officer also urged the residents of Virgin Gorda to fully participate in upcoming meetings.

Residents are reminded to conduct weekly surveillance activities for mosquito breeding sites. Regularly dispose of unwanted containers and garbage that can hold water, and also open drains where water could settle. Persons are encouraged to thoroughly scrub the sides of containers to destroy mosquito eggs, keep the yard clean and clear of weeds, and store containers not being used faced down.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact the health of the population are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.