In March of this year, CARPHA provided technical assistance to Sint Maarten to improve implementation of the country’s integrated vector management (IVM) strategies and to develop country-specific strategies in the area of prevention and control of vector borne diseases. This will contribute to more effective control of mosquito vectors in Sint Maarten.
The objectives of the in-country support were to assess Sint Maarten’s existing and potential entomology laboratory facilities; and develop and implement feedback mechanisms for entomological indices and vector control field operations.
While on island, CARPHA facilitated training for nineteen members of the Public Health Department including three vector control members of the Collective Prevention Services (CPS). Participants were introduced to traditional and new methods used in integrated vector management including data management techniques. They also received instruction in the use of GIS in the IVM programme. It is expected that there will be an immediate improvement in entomological surveillance and a more structured use of the field, laboratory, health communication and health promotion techniques for management of dangerous mosquito vectors. This would result in an improvement in the CPS’s ability to detect and respond to potential threats and a medium to long term reduction in the overall risk of arboviral disease outbreaks.
The training was funded by the 11th European Development Fund Programme of Support for Health System Strengthening for Prevention and Control of Outbreaks of Zika and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in the Caribbean.
In the past 3 years, CARPHA provided support to Sint Maarten through procurement and supply of entomological equipment (2017), training in QGIS (GiVeS I) for vector surveillance (2017), procurement and supply of a GIS-capable desktop computer and GPS unit (2018), and training in advanced QGIS (GiVeS II, 2019).