The first National Fight Against Dengue Day was marked at the Escuela Preparatoria 8 of the University of Guadalajara, Tuesday, March 20.
Participating in the ceremony were, among others, 429 brigadistas, whose job it is to help combat the transmission of mosquito-born diseases such as dengue, malaria, Zika and the lesser known Chikungunya.
The event’s main speaker was Jalisco’s Health Secretary Alfonso Petersen Farah, who emphasized the importance and impact of setting aside a day – actually, three days, March 20-23 – to raise awareness of such seemingly intractable plagues as dengue, malaria, et al. During his address, he highlighted the current over-reliance on fumigation to combat the metastasizing of the mosquito population.
“People pressure us to fumigate, and in this way eliminate the transmission of disease,” said Petersen Farah. “But in all honesty, these diseases can’t just be dealt with by fumigation. If we rely solely on that we will end up irreversibly damaging the environment.”
He followed up that stern warning by informing his audience of the complementary nature of fumigation. The fight against disease, he stated, starts in one’s home and neighborhood with preventive measures.
Preventative measures include removing pools of stagnant water, using repellent and mosquito netting if necessary, wearing long sleeves and pants, cleaning swimming pools, and changing flower pot water every fews days – or better yet, substituteing water with sand.
Furthermore, Maria Isabel Higuera Torres, the state’s anti-dengue program coordinator, has identified several areas of the Guadalajara metropolitan area where residents are particularly susceptible to mosquito-born illnesses. These include the Guadalajara colonias of Oblatos and Huentitan; colonias Mesa Colorada, Tabachines, Constitucion, Atemajac in Zapopan; the Tlaquepaque colonias of San Martin de las Flores, Las Huertas; and finally, in Tonala, the colonias of Jalisco and Loma Bonita.