Regular fogging to prevent dengue and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in Bali, Indonesia.(WHO photo)
Regular fogging to prevent dengue and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in Bali, Indonesia.(WHO photo)

Community clean-up campaigns in the Roseau and Marigot Health Districts; media discussions on vector and vector- borne disease and a roving exhibition on vector-borne diseases in all health districts are among a number of activities to be held here as Dominica joins the rest of the world in the observance of World Health Day 2014, the ministry of health has announced.

World Health Day is celebrated on April 7th to mark the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. Each year the Organization selects a key health issue and encourages people from all ages and all backgrounds to hold events that highlight the significance of this issue for good health and well–being. World Health Day provides a unique opportunity for communities from across the world to come together for one day to promote actions that can improve our health.

This year's World Health Day is observed under the global theme, "Small Bites Big Threats." Focusing on vectors and vector –borne diseases. The purpose is to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves.

Vector-borne diseases are infectious diseases spread by intermediate organisms, such as insects, including mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and snails that transmit viruses, parasites, and bacteria to humans.

These diseases cause a high burden of illness and death for individuals, their families, and communities, especially in poorer countries. The Director of the Pan-American Health Organization- PAHO Dr Carissa Etienne, emphasizes that these diseases lead to school absenteeism, worsening of poverty, a negative impact on the economic productivity, high health costs and overloaded health systems in countries.

In light of the present situation with vector – borne diseases in Dominica, the Ministry of Health in observing World Health Day will undertake a month of activities, running from April 7 to 30, 2014.

The focus will be on vectors of public health significance, namely, mosquitoes, rats, ticks and flies.. A core element of the campaign will be to provide communities, households, schools and the public at large with information on vectors and vector - borne diseases.

The Ministry has collaborated with stakeholders namely, Dominica Solid Waste Corporation, Dominica Air and Seaport Authority , Roseau City Council, National Pest and Termites Control, the Dominica State College, Ministry of Education and the Immigration Department to focus on Vectors and Vector-borne diseases and their effects on the population and the economy, the ministry of health stated .