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Stoves with empty eyes, balls missing, staring into space, their eyelashes burnt black long time ago by heat; fridges with open door policies, simply because they have no doors; dirty washing machines, tall brown barrels from New York; broken toilet bowls from somewhere, we know not where- all littered streets, alleys, roads and garbage dumps all over Dominica on nation Zika virus clean-up day on Thursday.

Mosquitos now have fewer places to hide, and bred and suck blood and share viruses.

Landfills were filled to capacity.

"The landfill has been overwhelmed," said Anthony Scotland, the Chief Environmental Health Officer. "We have had overwhelming response from the public. We had a massive participation; it is bordering on a historic event in Dominica."

Scotland said children and adults from all districts in Dominica took part in the clean-up campaign that aimed at reducing the breeding places of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Officials of the Solid Waste Management Department said more than 60 trucks dumped all sorts of metallic waste at the Fond Cole landfill and this highlighted the departments equipment, finance and personnel limitations.

The cleanup campaign is part of a series of actions that CARICOM heads of states determined is necessary to reduce the threat of the Zika virus.

Other actions include reducing taxes on imported supplies to be used in the fight against the virus and protecting citizens from the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

CARICOM Chairman and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the campaign also includes continuous public education, implementation of measures at ports of entry, health facilities, schools, private enterprises (such as hotels and tourism facilities), factories and other businesses.

Governments of the region are required to reduce import tax on essential public health supplies such as insecticide-treated bed nets and insect repellent for the duration of the epidemic in the region, which they estimated would be approximately two years.

The second week of May would be designated as 'Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week', Barrow said. Zika causes fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), which can last from a few days to a week. However, there has been fears of a link to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's brain and head are unusually small.


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