WHO helps Mauritius because it grapples with first dengue outbreak

WHO helps Mauritius because it grapples with first dengue outbreak

Dengue fever is having a second. Based on WHO knowledge, instances elevated considerably in 2023, following a small decline throughout the three earlier years. A potent cocktail of ongoing transmissions and a surge in new instances noticed the worldwide variety of dengue instances exceed 5 million, a close to file excessive. And though the lion’s share of the brand new instances has been reported within the Area of the Americas (virtually 80%), the Aedes mosquito has remodeled dengue into a very world downside. Mauritius is a living proof.

While it has skilled small, extremely localized incidences of infections prior to now, the nation has by no means encountered a dengue outbreak of this scale. Between December 11, 2023, and March 19, 2024, the authorities had recorded 3311 instances, whereas Rodrigues detected 12363 instances throughout the identical interval. As of 19 March, there have been 276 lively instances in Mauritius and 156 Rodrigues. 4 deaths have to date been attributed to dengue. The state of affairs hasn’t been helped by the presence of enabling environmental elements, similar to an particularly moist summer season.

As a tourism-oriented nation Mauritius is understandably eager to deal with this public well being problem in a decisive method. WCO Mauritius has performed a central function in supporting authorities’s efforts to cease the development of the illness by adopting a two-pronged strategy. The primary relies on offering detailed knowledge evaluation for enhanced evidence-based decision-making, whereas the second relies on selling simpler vector management actions. 

As an lively member of the inter-ministerial committee on dengue, WHO consultant (WR), Dr Anne Ancia, is working with high-level authorities to mobilise assets, actions and companies to sluggish the development of dengue through efficient vector management. To enhance the nation’s drive to sort out the dengue vector on the bottom, WCO Mauritius has mobilized the companies of three WHO consultants: a Medical Officer (Malaria and Vector-Borne Illness Management), Dr Adiele Onyeze, and two entomologists, Jude Diagabigoga and Mawlouth Diallo. As well as, two epidemiologists and a specialist threat communication skilled might be arriving quickly.

Over the previous three weeks, the consultants have accompanied groups from numerous ministries (Well being, Surroundings, Agro-Business, Tourism, and many others.) throughout the island on larviciding and fogging missions to watch the vector management programme in situ and supply actionable suggestions. For instance, the attractiveness of used tires as breeding grounds for mosquitos has been highlighted as a key driver of the outbreak. Schooling periods are usually performed to make sure that the groups perceive how the vector spreads and the way finest to get rid of its breeding websites.

In parallel, WCO Mauritius is conducting a examine on the resistance of native Aedes inhabitants to pesticides to information the utilization of the simplest and most secure merchandise. The crew has supported the well being authorities in devising methods to cut back the populations of Aedes in each rural and concrete communities and have taken inventory of the nation’s laboratory assets.

The Mauritius Nation Workplace has additionally tapped into the WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies to supply beneficial tools in assist of the nation’s battle in opposition to dengue. This contains roughly 12,000 insect repellent sprays, 3,000 Insecticide Handled Mosquito Nets, 1,000 litres of Okay-Othrine, 25,000 speedy diagnostic checks and 5000 respiratory masks for area employees. Extra materiel is on its approach.

As Dr Ancia has made it clear repeatedly, defeating dengue fever would require the involvement of every Mauritian. For on a regular basis and energy invested by the authorities in eradicating mosquito populations, it’s a logistical impossibility for them to wash up each single potential breeding web site. And since flowerpots, tires and different receptacles which will appeal to Aedes mosquitos are all over the place, finally we’re all on the frontlines of the struggle in opposition to dengue.

Finally, turning the tide of dengue requires a collective dedication, be it in Mauritius or elsewhere.

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