Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Health authorities enforcing 1952 legislation to combat mosquito breeding

By Linda Straker

THE confirmation of five cases of chikungunya in the island has pushed health authorities to enforce a 1952 law, which makes its mandatory for home and business owners to rid of all forms of containers that can cause the continuous breeding of mosquitoes.

Called the Mosquito Destruction Act, it came into effect on June 28, 1952 during a period when Grenada was a British Colony, and some 22 years before Grenada again Independence.

In a continuous running public service announcement aired on radio stations, the Ministry of Health is warning people that failure to keep their surroundings clean can result in Health Sanitation Officers taking legal proceedings in accordance with the Mosquito Destruction Act.

The regulations of that act were approved by Cabinet in 2003,and says that an owner or occupier, as the case may be, of premises, who contravenes any of the provisions of the regulations, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of EC$250 in the case of a first offence, and, in the case of a subsequent offence, to a fine of EC$500. The 1952 legislation has a general fine of EC$500.

According to the regulations, evidence of offence is the presence of mosquito larvae in any collection of water on premises shall be evidence that the provisions of the last two preceding regulations have not been obeyed.

Last week, health authorities in Grenada confirmed that there are five cases of Chikungunya in the island, but its presently confined to two small communities in Carriacou.

In a statement, the Ministry called on persons  to be vigilant in combating the threat of the Chikungunya Virus that is present in the region and said it’s  committed to keeping the pubic informed on any new developments as they arise.

With this new development, we continue to appeal to the public to co-operate with us and to do their part in combating the spread of this virus, said a statement from the Ministry, which called on the general public to:

1. Use mosquito nets.

2. Use insect repellents.

3. Wear long sleeves and long pants, especially in the night.

4. Most importantly, to clean your surroundings to eliminate breeding sites for mosquitoes.

5. Equip your doors and windows with mosquito screens.

6. Continue to support our vector control programmes.

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