Speech by Dr. David Ibeleme
Specialist Medical Officer
Insect Vector Control Division
Role & Responsibilities of The Ministry of Health
(Saturday 6th April 2019)
The Ministry of Health through the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Act ensures that all pest control companies are inspected and licensed in order for them to conduct their business.
The act addresses both the efficacy of the chemicals, safety of humans and general protection of the environment, e.g. Not all Space spraying measures are practiced by the IVCD (hand-held thermal fogging, vehicle-mounted ULV Spraying, but not aircraft-mounted).
As part of the inspection, particular attention is paid to the type of extermination activity that is performed, the control agents that are used, the application equipment used and the competency and knowledge of the operator in conducting the activity.
Maintenance of a viable and balanced ecosystem is important and is a major concern of the “inspectorate”.
- Not all agencies are allowed to use the same chemicals.
- What is allowed is dependent on the type of vector control measures undertaken by the particular agency e.g. IVCD.
- Malathion 57% (weight per volume) consumer grade is available for farming and generally for pest control around the home – it’s an emulsifying agent (This is a cheap insecticide).
- Tech grade 93-95% Malathion, used by IVCD (Applied using a fogging machine and ULV machines).
The Industry provides a supportive role in the field of vector control that can cause illnesses and diseases. Through the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals control board, Pesticides importers are encouraged to register pesticide products that are safe for use in homes, restaurants, processing plants, etc. to ensure that the desired pest control activities are performed without endangering its occupants or contaminating the food being produced.
- OSHA compliance is important to ensure protection of the staff of the different agencies.
- Supervisions and recommendations are made to ensure preservation of the Vector Control health workers.
The Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board has also partnered with the University of the West Indies in Developing a Certificate programme for training commercial pest control operators so that they can provide a better service to clients.
- This helps the Board to be current and ensure that best practices are maintained.
The board has continued to be cognizant of any recommendations by the multilateral environmental agreement, namely the Rotherham & Stockholm conventions as it relates to the effect of hazardous chemicals on human health and the environment, with particular impact on public health through the use of Vector Control products.
The ministry will continue to partner with the PMATT to ensure that issues regarding pest control are appropriately addressed.