The plan’s aim is to sharply reduce the number of concentrations of the mosquito that carries the dengue disease.
Funchal city council presented a plan that seeks to involve local residents as well as hoteliers, traders, schools and other institutions in a range of initiatives aimed at stemming the spread of dengue fever with preventive actions.
Dengue was first confirmed in Madeira last month. Last week 1,891 cases were reported, of which 966 are confirmed, according to the regional health authority, which says the outbreak is “decelerating”.
At a news conference on Friday, the mayor of Funchal, Miguel Albuquerque, said the city’s drive is to start on Saturday and last for two years. The stress, he said, will be on “effective actions, realistic measures that have worked in other cities and regions”.
The mayor downplayed the effect of the outbreak on tourism, noting that dengue is endemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Cidade da Praia, Cape Verde, yet tourists continue to head for those destinations.
The Funchal plan, which is to be coordinated with the regional government’s initiatives, foresees five public awareness teams, two more for monitoring and research, 14 combat brigades and a team to treat and analyse data.
The aim is to sharply reduce the number of concentrations of the mosquito that carries the disease – Aedes aegypti, first identified in Madeira in 2005 – by involving residents in prevention activities.
The teams’ work is to include visits to private homes and abandoned buildings, during which mosquito larvae may be collected. These visits are to be monthly in council-owned properties and quarterly in other urban areas.
The plan also foresees the weekly cleaning of gutters and lagoons and the inspection of watercourses, with the application of insecticides if appropriate.