So far the Ministry of Health has confirmed two cases of the Zika virus in Belize the latest detection coming from a pregnant woman.

While the Ministry of Health is on constant surveillance for any other possible emerging cases, a collaborative initiative between Sustainable Child Friendly Municipalities, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program, (UNDP), and the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development have started a ZIKA Communication for Development Training for the Corozal Municipality.

Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_2.11.00_PMKay-De Vaugh Project Manager for the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities

“What we are doing is a ZIKA Communication for Developing Training for the municipality of Corozal, because ZIKA virus affects pregnant women where there is the possibility of their baby being born with micro syphilis we wanted to make sure that we do whatever we can to take care of them so that the mother would avoid being bitten and avoid with the transmission of this disease to them. This is actually an initiative under the Sustainable Child Friendly municipality which is a collaborative initiative between UNICEF and UNDP, the Belize Mayors’ Association and the Ministry of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development.”

The training kicked off in Belize in the Month of April where representative from all 9 municipalities were given detailed information about the Vector Borne Illness. The idea is that during the training stakeholders will come with an action plan to fight the virus, says Kay-De Vaugh, Project Manager for the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities.

Kay-De Vaugh Project Manager for the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities

“This training started in Belize in the month of April, early April we brought in representatives from all nine municipalities and we train them on this and now we are doing it to broaden the aspect of it so that everybody knows so we are going into every municipality and train stakeholders who would be able to go back and tell others about it.  We are going over the tactics used to inform the public when it comes to vector control because we know that currently we have a rapid spread throughout the world when it comes to the ZIKA virus but also Dengue and Chickengunya and so what we are doing today is try and create an action plan for the municipality of Corozal so that they can fight off these mosquitos.”

Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_2.10.47_PMBased on information gathered from yesterday’s training…..the main weakness is lack of information as the community is not fully aware of the disease and its effects. The job of the trainees is to now come up with effective ways to attract the community’s attention to broaden their knowledge on the Zika virus.

Kay-De Vaugh Project Manager for the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities

“The biggest weakness they would have is people not knowing, while the information is out there people don’t seem to care about it and I think it is because there is a lack of knowledge and lack of understanding and so one of the things we need to see is how can we get the information out there in a way that will attract communities attention and then they will be able to make a change of it. There is little things we can do to stop the spread of these mosquitos, you know we have containers in our yard that hold water of no use, turn them down turn them out get city council to come and pick them up from you, we can do every little thing that we can will count because these mosquitos when they lay eggs they lay up to two hundred in a batch and they can do five batches so we don’t’ want this to spread in our community.”

The ZIKA Communication for Development Training will be conducted in Belize, Belmopan, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and San Pedro.

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