SEVERAL requests were made for the Health Ministry’s Insect Vector Control Division to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds in the Freeport area where 58-year-old Haniff Ali contracted dengue and died on Wednesday.
Five others in the area are also being treated for dengue-like symptoms.
This is according to chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation Dave Persad, who said his corporation was not equipped with the spraying machines, so the complaints of vacant lots and clogged drains harbouring the Aedes aegypti mos-
quito had to be referred to the Health Ministry’s office in Couva.
However, Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan said regional corporations were expected to work together with the ministry’s Insect Vector Control Division to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds.
And residents, he said, were responsible for ensuring their surroundings are clean.
“It is very surprising for the corporation to pass the buck in such a manner. The corporation is not supposed to pass the buck like that because they have the responsibility to do the local government actions and work directly with the Insect Vector to get the area clean,” said Khan.
“It is not just a matter of spraying, it is a matter of cleanliness, removing old stagnant water and clearing drains,” he added.
Khan asked that residents clean their homes in an attempt to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.
“If the man died from dengue as a result of a mosquito, that means there is stagnant water somewhere. Residents are responsible for making sure that their surroundings are clean.”
Relatives of Ali, whose funeral was held yesterday, had complained his death could have been prevented and appealed to the ministry to begin spraying immediately.
Persad, in a telephone interview, responded: “We don’t have the kind of equipment. That is done by the Insect Vector Control department of the Ministry of Health. What we do with our health department is more preventative things like education about dengue.”
The Express was told that five residents, including a young child, were treated for dengue symptoms.
The Ministry of Health confirmed last evening that spraying would begin this morning and continue next week.
Ali, a Revenue Officer IV at the Inland Revenue Office, Chaguanas, was buried at the Ste Madeleine Public Cemetery yesterday, following a funeral service at his home.
The father of three, of Calcutta No 1, Freeport, was buried in his hometown, near San Fernando, relatives said.
Relatives said Ali was looking forward to celebrating his 59th birthday with his three children—two daughters and a son—next Wednesday.
He died from dengue haemorrhagic fever at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the San Fernando General Hospital on Wednesday morning.
Ali was admitted to hospital last week Tuesday. He was diagnosed with dengue on Saturday and was being treated with medication and intravenous (IV) fluids.
Relatives said Ali’s condition worsened, causing his organs to fail. No autopsy was performed on his body as doctors confirmed he died from dengue, relatives said.