By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
A few months ago this column covered the dangers of Mosquito carried Zika Virus and the need to take steps for prevention. The Mosquito net project was born. The sewing Center at the Tepehua Community Center took up the challenge, and nets are going into production. This is a challenge bigger than anticipated.
Recently there was a meeting in Chapala concerning dengue fever, recent cases that have been confirmed, and the fact that Chapala, including Tepehua, are at the top of the list...for the state of Jalisco. The urgency behind the simple net has just escalated.
The rainy season, although a gift for life, it also brings its woes for areas of poverty, as with any catastrophe, poverty is dealt the first hand.
The multiple family shared sewer systems that even in the dry season tend to overflow, run down the rocky terrain to the streets, where they find their standing ground and created puddles of disease: the perfect breeding ground for the mosquito, and for parasitical diseases. Although the girls are working hard on this...production takes longer than anticipated, so we will also use ready-made that are available on the market to give us a head start.
Africa solved a major Malaria epidemic with the simple mosquito net...the news flash above is not a good one, especially as this will be a heavier rainy season than usual, we can follow the book on Africa...keep it simple, stay ahead.
Zika virus is a cousin to Dengue Fever, yellow fever, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile as they share the same courier AEDES, which is a daytime biting mosquito. Its rapid spread to the Americas from Africa in 2015 through 2016 is causing an epidemic that is reaching pandemic levels...according to Wikipedia. (It was in the Americas prior to 2015, but isolated cases.)
In January 2016 the United States center for disease control and prevention issued a travel warning on affected countries. Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica, have gone so far as to warn women NOT to get pregnant until more is learned about the diseases, especially Zika. Please let us take this very seriously. We can help prevent this with the first little steps in simplicity: Mosquito nets.
Tepehua thanks those readers who have already contributed to buy the nets...they cost from 200 to 400 pesos per net, depending on the size. Distribution will start in Tepehua Pharmacy serving pregnant women first...we will cover as much territory as we can, and keep our readers posted. Please safe guard your staff, they should have one in their home. Their sickness will affect you.
Contact Moonie if you are willing to help in any way. If you have a sewing machine and would like to help the ladies, but prefer to work at home, we can supply the material for you. Donations of nets and monies happily accepted.