|Malaria control strengthened through training in Entomology|
Belize City, 30 September 2011 – 18 technicians from the Environmental Health Unit, Vector Control Program of the Ministry of Health (MOH) received training on vector control and entomology. The objective was to review the situation of malaria vectors in Belize and neighboring countries and to build capacity in field entomology. This included demonstration on collection methods used to sample mosquito larvae and adults, and data management. The training was successful with coordinated efforts between the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Belize and Costa Rica.
The 3 day training was conducted by Dr Christian Frederickson, Regional Advisor on Vector Borne Disease Control and field expert on mosquitoes. Focus was on malaria entomological techniques, entomological evaluation, insecticide resistance, ecology of malaria vectors, vector control for malaria, and basic mosquito identification. Field demonstrations were conducted in communities of the Stann Creek District that have reported the highest incidences of malaria. The opportunity was also taken to provide technical support to the municipality of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where an assessment to determine the dire mosquito situation and determine options for control was undertaken.
According to Mr. Jose Perez, Environmental Health Advisor, PAHO/WHO Belize, the training was instrumental as the Ministry of Health is going to establish an entomology laboratory at the Western Health Region.
The participants completed the training by formulating a national work plan to strengthen vector control in Belize. Proper use of insecticides, testing of resistance and mosquito species identification were the main components of the plan.