Vector Control is a Community Responsibility: WHO Maldives and Health Protection Agency launches a Vector Control Campaign in Maldives

Vector Control is a Community Responsibility

A Vector Control Campaign was launched today as a joint initiative by WHO Maldives, Health Protection Agency and the Environment Protection Agency, in the efforts to bring a halt to the spread of vector borne diseases in the country. The campaign which was launched in Gan, Laamu Atoll was graced by His Excellency Minister of Health Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, WHO Representative Dr Arvind Mathur, UN Resident Coordinator and Representative Ms Shoko Noda and Laamu Atoll Councilor Yoosuf Amir. During the opening ceremony for the launch, Mr Yoosuf Amir thanked the government of Maldives and the WHO Country Office for the support received and for the awareness created by holding such an event in Laamu Atoll and encouraged the civilians of Laamu to be more mindful and aware of their routine lives that can contribute to vector control.

UN Resident Coordinator Ms Shoko Nodo in her remarks praised the large number of participants at the event, which she believed showed the importance of the cause. She expressed that the initiative, although lead by the Health Sector of Maldives, also needed more support from other government entities and UN agencies for further strength and reinforcement.

WHO Representative Dr Mathur then handed over vector control equipment such as fogging machines, temephos and space sprayers which was accepted by His Excellency Minister of Health Mr Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim and State Minister Dr Aishath Rameela, demonstrating WHO’s support to strengthen vector control and prevent vector borne diseases. During his address, Dr Mathur reiterated the theme of the event “Search, find and eliminate” and celebrated the two recent milestones Maldives has achieved in vector control by eliminating Malaria and Filariasis within the past year. The WHO Representative expressed his unwavering commitment towards the cause and hoped that such initiatives can be continued across the country in the times to come.

Chief Guest of the Ceremony His Excellency Mr Abdulla Nazim believed that the equipment provided by WHO when used effectively would eliminate mosquitos at a very early stage of development. Though the initial campaign was launched in Laamu, the Minister assured the community that it’ll continue to be extended from Haa Alif Atoll to as far as Addu Atoll. He ended his remarks by thanking WHO for the efforts in reducing the out of pocket expenditure of Maldivians spent on Health care.

The ceremony concluded with a waste dumping site where all participants picked up garbage, identified potential mosquito breeding sites and disposed them.

WHO Maldives and the Ministry of Health continue to demonstrate elimination efforts of vector borne diseases in the Maldives. Within the past year, Maldives has been certified free of both Malaria and Filariasis, two deadly vector borne diseases. Maldives has been cited as a “shining example to countries around the region” by WHO South East Asia Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh for achieving the two milestones.