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ProVector mosquito traps for Haiti, but AMCA predicts mosquito crisis (updated with post-quake disease notes)

Posted Feb 14 2010 12:00am

Haiti

makeover 1, February 18, 2010

Emboldened by the positive outcomes of the trials of the ProVector mosquito trap in Puerto Rico and the success of the real world use of the product in the Dominican Republic, ProVector LLC is donating thousands of ProVector Flowers to help earthquake ravaged Haiti deal with an impending Dengue threat.

Even before the January 12, 2010 earthquake, Haiti reportedly had the highest incidence of Dengue Fever in the world.  In the aftermath of the devastation of the Haitian capital’s infrastructure, the threat of Dengue has grown considerably as a result of the lack of potable water in the city and the dire need that people have to store what little supplies they can lay their hands on.

In the best of times, it is almost impossible to line up everyone behind the effort to prevent the Dengue mosquito from harbouring in containers of water kept in and around the home for household use, far less under the present circumstances when the priority is bare survival.

ProVector LLC has taken notice and made a corporate commitment to send 1,500 of their traps to Haiti and another few hundreds more to Dominican Republic villages situated on the border with Haiti.  The company is banking on the results of the ProVector Community Project Program (PVCP) wherein they donated a bunch of Provector Flowers to the Children of the Nations International (COTN) to be set in Algodon, DR.

Some 200 Provector traps were set, one each inside homes and other buildings in Algodon, which is but one of the poor Malaria and Dengue-ridden DR villages sponsored by COTN.  The people of Algodon observed a marked reduction in mosquito infestation levels where the traps  were set as opposed to everywhere else.  This was evidence enough that the biopesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis, in the center of the flower had done the job of attracting and destroying the mosquitoes on the target premises. One Provector Flower is said to offer protection to a family 24 hours a day.

The hurricane season is not very far away.  The rains will come and the people of Haiti will likely still be largely homeless and shelter-less.  Water will remain a scarce commodity and storage containers, all open to the Dengue mosquitoes, will line every makeshift structure.  The mosquito will breed with gay abandon.  Infections will rise and the already strained health services in Haiti will be hard-pressed to cope.

I am afraid a couple thousands of the Provector traps will not make a difference in the overall fight against Dengue and Malaria in the absence of good old community action in which everyone chips in to bar the Dengue mosquito from stagnant water bodies. (Source: earthtimes.org)

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has expressed concern that the damage caused by the January 12 earthquake has created ideal habitats for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.  And with the start of the rainy season not too far off, the Haitian population and rescue workers will become increasingly vulnerable to mosquito activity given that temporary shelters provided them offer little to no protection from biting insects.

The AMCA is initiating a partnership with relief workers in Haiti to monitor the mosquito crisis. (Source: barbadosgazette.com)

Post Quake Haiti Notes: Dengue is endemic in Haiti with all four strains of the disease circulating mainly during the rainy season, which runs from April or May to November.   Given the lack of proper housing and traditionally high Dengue transmission rates, April is a month that the victims of the quake would be dreading.

Unlike Dengue, Malaria is prevalent all year round in Haiti from the coastal regions to the border with the Dominican Republic.  The prime Malaria parasite is Plasmodium falciparum.  The one good thing about Malaria in Haiti, if ever there was, is that P. falciparum is not resistant to the anti-malarial chloroquine.

Lymphatic filariasis, otherwise called elephantiasis, a disease the enlarges the lower extremities and disfigures them, is another mosquito-borne disease that is endemic in Haiti.  It is spread by the night-biting Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, a brown-coloured mosquito with long legs that is to be found throughout the Caribbean region.  Tent dwellings and makeshift homes are not going to deter that mosquito from feeding freely on the hapless Haitian population. (Source: WHO)

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