MRCU adds mosquito surveillance staff

| 11/07/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life
New MRCU employee Rico Reid helps to clear access routes into shrubbery

(CNS Local Life): The Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) has added three disease protection officers (DPO) to its team, with two of the recruits hired following recent promotions within the team, and the third taking charge of the unit’s expanding services in Little Cayman.

All three started at MRCU within the last two months. Philip Bent and Rico Reid will both be based in Grand Cayman, and Kemarley Maxam is MRCU’s first DPO to be permanently based in Little Cayman, stated a press release.

MRCU director Jim McNelly said of the three new staff: “I am proud to see the next generation of Caymanians become part of our team and help to continue the MRCU’s commitment to researching, surveying and controlling the mosquito population across our islands.”

The three Caymanians join 13 other DPOs in the MRCU team. Each is responsible for managing the surveillance and treatment of mosquito populations within a specific geographic area across the islands.

For the first time, this approach includes a dedicated person permanently responsible for Little Cayman, the release said. In the past, the island’s mosquito population was managed through ad hoc requests. 

Before taking up their jobs, the three spent their first two weeks as DPOs in an intensive training programme designed to get them up to speed on all surveillance and control-related aspects of their new role. Mosquito surveillance will form the largest part of their daily duties.

Their training included techniques for checking the aquatic stages of mosquito development; taking, maintaining and recording field samples; and performing residential, swamp and pasture inspections.

As part of control training, the new recruits were taught safety procedures for spray application and which spray formulations are most effective at controlling mosquito populations under different conditions. Meanwhile, CNS is still seeking answers from MRCU relating to concerns about the current spraying programme.

In February this year, two veteran MRCU employees, with a combined 55 years with the unit, were promoted to senior DPOs. Marcus Grizzel joined the MRCU in 1987, and Leonardo Rodriguez started in 1995.

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Category: Local News, Medical and Health

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