The Fiji Times
By Repeka Nasiko
SPRAYING campaigns threaten other insect species, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar.
She said this was one of the reasons the ministry preferred to carry out clean-up campaigns than spraying chemicals in their fight against the spread of dengue.
"A lot of people ask 'why don't you spray'?
"Why don't you spray in all of the areas that have mosquitoes. I want to say 'yes, we are doing that'.
"We are spraying in these areas but people have to understand that the rest of our environment could be affected by this.
"There are harmless insects in our environment and we don't want to kill them.
"This is why we are not carrying our mass spraying campaigns."
Ms Akbar said the spraying campaigns were controlled and only carried out in hot spot areas..
"We have identified these areas where a lot of cases have been reported and we are spraying in these places but other than that, we continue to encourage people to clean up their homes and clear up places where mosquitoes are likely to breed.
"We are asking all of our stakeholders and the general public to ensure their environment is kept clean."
She said the number of dengue cases in the country had doubled since last year.
"According to the latest Ministry of Health statistics, we have 1854 people currently with confirmed cases of dengue.
"That is quite a high number for this year and when compared to the number of cases for the same period last year, the figure has doubled. So you and I can imagine what we need to do to ensure that in the coming months we need to get these numbers down."