Aedes-borne diseases (dengue, Ckikungunya, yellow fever, and now Zika virus) are the fastest spreading tropical diseases globally. They are especially pernicious in Latin American countries due to a combination of the aedes mosquito population dynamics, environmental and socio-economic factors. The aedes mosquito breeds in standing water and has adapted to breed urban areas, thriving in unsanitary, impoverished and crowded areas with no piped water.
MENTOR is providing technical support to UNICEF and the IFRC to reinforce the design and delivery of effective community activities, which reduce the burden of disease, by conducting focused vector control interventions and social behaviour change.
- Ecuador: Portoviejo, Manta in Manabi Province. In total, 1, 106 Zika cases were recorded from week 1 to 27, 2016, of which 641 cases have been confirmed.
- Colombia: Cúcuta , Norte Santander and Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca. Colombia has a reported case load of 88, 978, of which 8, 506 have been confirmed.
- Panama: San Miguelito, Tocumen, Panama City and El Porvenir, Guna Yala. Panama acts as a geographic bridge linking the countries with the highest incidence of Zika and dengue fever, to central and North America, where disease rates are still low. A total of 1, 214 cases gave been recorded between November, 2015 and week 21, 2016, of which 293 cases have been confirmed.
MENTOR’s primary aims for support on the ground
Immediate reduction in Zika and dengue transmission will be achieved through vector management strategies, supported by social behaviour change communication. The community- based aedes source reduction across urban populations will follow WHO guidelines and vulnerable communities will be empowered with full engagement and participation.
A technical planning workshop, organized by UNICEF in close collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Health, has successfully taken place in Colombia. This workshop brought together disease control experts, senior officials from Ministries of Health and Education, UN agencies, IFRC representatives, researchers from Canada, the United States and Hounduras, as well as national and international NGOs. The aim of the workshop was to review best practices regarding aedes prevention and control in Latin America, particularly in Colombia, as well as to identify communication strategies resulting in behavioural change.