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Combating the zika epidemic in Honduras by eradication of Aedes Aegypti habitats

The emergence of the zika virus in Honduras in December 2015 and the way it spread further in the country significantly increased the costs of health care, households and for the economy of the country in general, also due to complications connected with the Guillain–Barré syndrome and the risk of microcephaly in newborns delivered by women infected with the zika virus during their pregnancy.

The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, also responsible for transmitting such infective diseases as denga and chikungunya. The prevalence of the disease has significantly increased in the last months, especially in the southern part of the country and the vicinity of its capital city. It is connected with the widespread presence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. At the turn of January and February 2016, the Honduras’ authorities declared the state of emergency and the President Juan Orlando Hernandez decided to earmark budgetary funds for combating the zika, dengi and chikungunya epidemic and for preventive measures (including the destruction of the habitat of Aedes aegypti).

No effective vaccination against zika has been created so far. In case of such complications as the Guillain-Barré syndrome, the disease may be fatal. For this reason, it is extremely important to prevent people from contracting the disease and destroy the mosquito habitats. To this end, it is necessary to use specialist equipment in areas threatened by epidemics.

Combating the zika epidemic in Honduras by eradication of Aedes Aegypti habitats

The project is scheduled to be implemented from 1 July to 15 December 2016 in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Mexico and its local partner, the Ministry of Health of Honduras. The objective of the project is to carry out activities aimed at preventing contracting the zika, dengi and chikungunya viruses in one of the Central Districts found by the Ministry of Health of Honduras to be particularly at risk of an epidemic. It is also necessary to provide specialist equipment - medical nozzles (nebulizers). They will help to eliminate, or at least significantly decrease, the area of the habitats of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the risk areas.

It will help to increase the effectiveness of combating infectious disease epidemics in Honduras and consequently improve the health of citizens and their quality of life. As estimated by the Ministry of Health, they country needs 400 light machines and 20 heavy nozzle machines (nebulizers), whose total cost will amount to approximately Iempir 20.4 mln (approximately USD 903,000).

In order to support the Honduras Ministry of Health, the Polish Aid's funds will be used to purchase 8 thermal nozzles (termonebulizers) and four sets of spare parts. These machines will be used to spray insecticides in one of the areas of the Central District (Tegucigalpa) to destroy the habitat of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This area, which covers 48,500 flats and is a home to 250,000 residents, was considered to be at particular risk of epidemics. The nozzles can also be used in other parts of the country at risk of epidemics.

The value of the project amounted to 10,000  American dollars (approximately PLN 42,000) and was fully co-covered by the Polish Aid's funds. For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: USD 1 = PLN 4.2329.

Combating the zika epidemic in Honduras by eradication of Aedes Aegypti habitats

The project was implemented according to the plan, from 1 July to 15 December 2016. As part of the project, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Mexico purchased 9 thermal nozzles and 9 sets of spare parts. The equipment was given to the Honduras Ministry of Health and is now used to spray insecticides in the areas of the country considered to be at particular risk of epidemics, in order to destroy the habitats of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as part of the government’s programme for combating the zika virus. The project is to help increase the effectiveness of combating infectious disease epidemics in Honduras and consequently improve the health of citizens and their quality of life.