By Benjamin Flowers
The Belize City Council this week held a sensitization workshop for its staff on the Zika virus, and the council’s role in the national response.
CitCo held the workshop on Wednesday at City Hall, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Dr. Javier Zuniga, primary healthcare coordinator for the Central Health Region and acting regional manager, along with Javier Alpuche, senior public health inspector, made presentations on the ministry’s behalf.
Mayor Darrell Bradley explained that CitCo engaged in the workshop to see how it would coordinate with the various stakeholders, not just in the eventuality of an outbreak, but also to work along with the MOH’s preventative efforts.
“One of the things we can do is keep that community awareness going so that people know this is not a crisis but there are things that the public need to do to help keep an incident free society,” Bradley said.
The presenters spoke on topics such as Zika’s prevalence in Latin America and the Caribbean, modes of transmission, symptoms, and what can be done to minimize any threat of an outbreak.
Among the major points discussed was the need for residents, Belize City residents in particular, to keep their yards clean, and ensure that there are no breeding sites for the Aedes Egypti mosquito, which carries the virus.
Bradley added that the council will continue to use various means to convey the importance of that aspect to the public.