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Saturday 22 September 2018
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Health Ministry: No malaria in Cedros

Flashback: In this August 18 file photo, Cedros councillor Shankar Teelucksingh, left, talks with Works Minister Rohan Sinanan at the flood gates in Bonasse Village Cedros during a tour of projects in Point Fortin and La Brea. Teelucksingh yesterday called on the Health Ministry to give details of its findings that malaria tests done on 50 people were negative. FILE PHOTO

The Ministry of Health through the Insect Vector Control Division (IVCD) is assuring the public that all 50 blood samples taken from residents of Cedros tested negative for malaria.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry stated that on Monday, 11 people were tested through the use of blood smears and all came back negative.

On Tuesday, according to the ministry, 39 people were tested and those results also came back negative.

The ministry reminded that taking blood smears and examining them under a microscope remains the standard for diagnosing malaria. In seeking to allay possible fears in the society, the ministry stated that the IVCD will continue its routine activities for the control of mosquito borne diseases in targeted areas throughout TT by treating homes and continued surveillance and testing for malaria.

In the case of homes, the ministry stated that field officers from the IVCD will inspect and spray homes and communities where mosquito breeding is suspected.

This treatment would include the use of thermal fogging for adult forms of the mosquito, use of Aquatain for killing mosquito larvae and pupae in water containers and use of Bactivec to kill mosquito larvae in waterways and water containers.

The ministry assured that both Aquatain and Bactivec are approved by the World Health Organisation for use and are safe for humans and the environment when appropriately applied.

But despite the assurances from the Ministry of Health, councillor for Cedros Shankar Teelucksingh insisted there are two people, one from Venezuela and one from Trinidad, who were diagnosed with malaria.

He said he is unaware that residents from Cedros were tested.

He is asking the ministry to say what areas the people who were tested came from and whether they were selected from areas such as Lala Road, Balwah Road, Uncle Ben Avenue and Gran Chemin in Icacos.

Teelucksingh is also asking the ministry to say what measures are being put in place to avoid an outbreak of malaria given the sharp increase in cases in Venezuela and the scores of Venezuelans coming to TT on a weekly basis through legal and illegal ports of entry such a Erin, Moruga and Morne Diablo.

The councillor is also demanding answers as to why the Minister of National Security has not signed off on a document granting permission for the International Red Cross to set up camp to deal with the influx of Venezuelans coming into TT from a humanitarian standpoint.

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