We’ve all had the experience of being bitten by a mosquito. We also know that in some places mosquitoes are more present than others. Aside from spraying ourselves with mosquito repellent, what can we do stop the bites?

Mosquitos that carry Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika like to live near humans. We provide them with blood meals and places for them to breed. Mosquito eggs, which can turn quickly from egg to flying mosquito in around a week, get laid in the small amounts of water that can accumulate in trash left around where humans live and tanks and barrels that are not covered or regularly cleaned.

Cleaning up communities has been central to the fight against diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Red Cross’ work around the globe, but how does it get practically done? Red Cross National Societies from the Caribbean region developed the “How to do a Community Clean-up” guide in September 2019 to help answer this question.

All of the National Societies in our region have been working at the community level to reduce the risk of the Aedes mosquito. But we found that many others wanted to understand what the best way to do a clean up was. It is a logistical undertaking that needs more than academic theory. And no-one can tell us better how to do this than the project managers and field officers themselves” said Chantal Braithwaite, Senior Public Health Officer for the IFRC Caribbean Country Cluster Support Team in Trinidad and Tobago.

The short guide is a combination of experiences brought together by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Caribbean Country Cluster Office. The simple and easy-to-adopt 13 step process was developed by 11 National Societies who were asked to order, vote, and add what was missing from previous guides. The guide also draws on the content explained in the Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Toolkit, which lays out a community risk mapping process to drive longer term behaviour change.

The guide is available here.

The “How to do a Community Clean-up” guide was developed thanks to the Red Cross National Societies from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago who provided recommendations, technical support and collaboration during the process.

Download the .pdf of this success story here