About Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week
At the 17th meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in November 2014, the Heads approved a proposal submitted for the establishment of an annual “Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week”. With the emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Region, we now face a significant new health and economic security threat, particularly as most of our countries are dependent on tourism. The likelihood of a rapid spread of ZIKV throughout the Caribbean region is high due to:
- the presence and high infestation levels of the Aedes aegypti vector in all countries;
- the lack of immunity in the Caribbean populations to ZIKV; and
- frequent travel between countries with ZIKV circulation confirmed and those which are still deemed free of ZIKV.
The main objective of the Mosquito Awareness Week is to strengthening existing initiatives and mobilise the public to take action in eliminating mosquito breeding sites in public and private places. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, the first of its kind in the Americas, is being led through a joint collaboration between CARPHA, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and CARICOM, during the second week of May. This year the event runs from 9 - 15 May and is themed “Small Bite, Big Threat,” its slogan being “Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites.”