By Laticia Matínez Hernández, Granma, March 7, 2016
On March 6, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz presided a meeting to review nationwide sanitation measures to combat the spread of viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes at the Ministry of Public Health, during which he called for greater discipline, to hold those who fail to comply with measures accountable and for citizens to continue supporting sanitization efforts in cities.
Also addressed during the meeting was the complex epidemiological situation facing the region, with cases of the Zika virus reported in 31 countries. It was reiterated that thus far two imported cases of the disease, originating from Venezuela, have been detected; while vigilance measures continue to be applied with individuals presenting with non-specific fever being investigated.
During a video conference with authorities from the Ministry Health, government, Party, Revolutionary Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior and provincial mass organizations, it was reported that at the end of the second cycle of the campaign 12,737 homes had failed to be fumigated, down from 28,627 registered the previous week, owing to inadequate planning, poor notification, and failure to comply with established timetables.
The number of workplaces testing positive for the vector have also decreased, and by the end of the second week progress had been seen in environmental sanitization efforts carried out in high risk areas. Of a reported 9,012 potable water leakages, 76.2% have been fixed, while 3,477 of 4,647 waste water leakages have also been repaired.
A daily average of 800 National Revolutionary Police offices have participated in the campaign, dealing with residents who fail to cooperate with fumigators and sanitization personnel, as well as dumpster “divers” and cart vendors who have removed over 100 wheels from garbage containers.
The President inquired about garbage collection in the capital where 23,800 cubic meters are produced daily, 6,300 of which goes uncollected given a lack of garbage trucks, a situation Raúl described as chronic and requiring a definitive well thought out solution, with an emphasis on discipline in collection schedules, repairs and maintenance of equipment.
Raúl stated that “this can not just be one more campaign.” It is imperative to ensure that everything is being done well, comprehensively and in a timely fashion, he noted.