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close this bookEmergency Vector Control after Natural Disaster (PAHO)
close this folderPart I: An Overview
View the documentChapter 1: The general problem
View the documentChapter 2: Disaster preparedness
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 3: Postdisaster action
View the documentChapter 4: Vector and Rodent Related Diseases

Chapter 2: Disaster preparedness

A Disaster Emergency Committee, with responsibility for maintaining a state of' preparedness for natural disasters, should be in existence. Such a committee would include representatives from governmental and private agencies that deal with the routine problems that are accentuated in times of' disaster. A Vector Control Subcommittee should be established in the health sector, and it should be responsible for updating information concerning the status and distribution of' the vector-borne diseases that are endemic to the country, as well as nearby regions. Information should be continually updated on entomological surveillance of' vector populations and on the location and status of manpower, insecticides and application equipment. The subcommittee should be responsible for implementing the emergency vector control operations. To accomplish this, it must have power to act without the bureaucratic constraints that are usual in normal circumstances. The subcommittee may include individuals from a number of agencies within the Ministry of' Hearth, as well as those from other ministries and the private sector. The chairperson of such a committee may be the officer responsible for epidemiology, for malariology or for environmental health.

In areas of high risk of recurrent natural disasters, vector control personnel should attempt to rehearse disaster emergency control operations, in order to refine procedures and develop expertise and a more effective state of alertness. Even without a Vector Control Subcommittee, insect and rodent control personnel can develop a system of alertness to function during and after disasters. Continuous in-service training of all members of the staff should be included in all control programs. Training and program evaluation services offered by the Pan American Health Organization can assist administrators in identifying and resolving problems in control programs.

The vector control program should keep information current on the following:

(1) The status of' all instruments, aids and activities necessary for surveillance, evaluation, and control activities, including:

(a) Distribution maps of areas of' high risk of' disease transmission, which delineate the sizes of vector populations, increases in larval breeding sites and the locations of potential reservoirs of' disease
(b) The distribution of all eases of' malaria of autochthonous and foreign origin
(c) Maps of the phases of' progress in malaria and Aedes aegypti control programs
(d) Population indices for Aedes aegypti, malaria vectors and other important species
(e) Graphs of' monthly variation in vector density per year and according to changes in rainfall and temperature
(f) incidence Graphs showing changes in the incidence of' vector-borne and rodent-borne diseases
(g) Status of seaport and airport Aedes aegypi and rodent surveillance programs.

(2) The inventories of insecticides and vehicles and other types of equipment, and lists of' personnel and variable funds, including:

(a) Breakdowns for each vector and rodent control program
(b) A list of similar or related programs that exist in other ministries, such as Agriculture and Defense, and an inventory of' their equipment and insecticides that can be converted to public health use
(c) A list of' private fumigation and agricultural spray companies that have ultra-low volume (ULV) and other application equipment (which might be owned by resorts or cities in touristed areas)
(d) A list of the names, telephone numbers and addresses of contacts in the Ministry of Health and other ministries and, in addition, of' companies that supply and manufacture insecticides and dispersal equipment and of international representatives
(e) A list of any other known, local sources of expertise, supplies and material .

(3) The status of' transportation, communication and intelligence, and other maps and reports that might assist in reconnaissance and other types of surveys, including:

(a) Road maps of larger political divisions and street maps of cities and towns
(b) Geographical and topographical maps
(c) Aerial photography surveys of high risk areas of vector-borne diseases
(d) Distribution maps of agricultural products
(e) Telephone directories, airline schedules and ham radio operators, and radio, television and newspaper services

(4) Directions for routing requests for interdepartmental and international sect, and a list of agencies.

(5) An operational contingency plan.