Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 31st 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 31, 2014
WASHINGTON DC---The Pan American
Health Organisation (PAHO) says the
number of dengue cases in the Amer-
icas, including the Caribbean, increased
five-fold between 2003 and 2013.
According to data presented this week
at a high-level regional meeting on
dengue hosted by PAHO, between 2009
and 2012, over 1 million cases were
reported annually, on average, with more
than 33,900 severe cases and 835 deaths.
PAHO said last year was one of the
worst years for dengue in the hemi-
sphere s history, with 2.3 million cases,
including 37,705 severe cases and 1,289
By comparison, the number of cases
reported region-wide in 2003 was 517,617,
Despite countries efforts to control
the disease, PAHO warned that dengue
continues to spread due to, among other
reasons, uncontrolled, unplanned urban-
ization, lack of basic services in com-
munities, poor environmental manage-
ment and climate change.
In the Americas, nearly 500 million
people are at risk of contracting the dis-
ease, PAHO said.
"All government sectors, communities,
and families have to work together to
fight the vector and control this disease,
which knows no borders, discriminates
against no one, and is everyone s prob-
lem, not just the health sector s," he said.
Espinal said Canada, continental Chile
and Uruguay are the only countries in
the region that have reported no dengue
cases to date, despite the presence of
Aedes aegypti mosquito in Uruguay.
He said the United States detected
dengue for the first time in 2007 and,
by 2013, had registered 1,292 cases,
although none were severe or resulted
But despite the increasing incidence
of dengue, PAHO said the trend in case-
fatality rates has been downward.
It said case fatality from dengue in
the Americas fell from 0.07 percent to
0.05 percent in the last three years---a
reduction attributed to better clinical
management of patients since imple-
mentation of new PAHO guidelines
began in 2010.
PAHO estimates that improvements
in care prevented about 1,500 deaths last
year, equivalent to over 25 percent of all
deaths from the virus over the previous
"Recognising the lack of a vaccine or
specific drugs for this health problem,
countries have made major efforts to
prevent deaths from dengue through
timely treatment, following the new
WHO recommendations," said Luis Ger-
ardo Castellanos, head of the PAHO s
Neglected, Tropical and Vector-borne
"Aedes aegypti is an urban mosquito
that lives in our homes, which means
we have to eliminate its breeding sites
to prevent it from reproducing," said José
Luis San Martín, PAHO regional advisor
In addition to dengue, PAHO said
Aedes aegypti also transmits the chikun-
gunya and yellow fever viruses. (CMC)
NEW YORK---The Committee to Pro-
tect Journalists (CPJ) has called on
local authorities to ensure the safety
of TV6 journalist Mark Bassant who
fled the country after learning of a
plot against his life.
Bassant was investigating the May
4 murder of former senator and Senior
Counsel Dana Seetahal who was
involved in several high-profile pros-
ecutions, as well as links between Islam-
ic groups and criminal activities.
In a statement the CPJ said Bassant
told the organisation that several sources
told him on May 7 that criminal figures
were angered by his reporting and that
his life was at risk. Bassant said he
reported this information that day to
the authorities, including the minister
of national security, Gary Griffith.
On May 8, Bassant met with an offi-
cial in the Trinidadian intelligence serv-
ice, who advised him to take precautions
for his safety but did not offer any
security, the journalist told CPJ. CCN
began providing him with around-the-
The journalist said his sources told
him the same day that rogue police
officers were monitoring him and
reporting back to the person who want-
ed him killed.
Bassant told CPJ that on May 9 offi-
cials with Trinidad s intelligence service
told him they had confirmed that his
name was on a list of people to be killed
and that he was at imminent risk. Bas-
sant fled the country on May 11. Bassant
told CPJ the intelligence officials were
in contact with him and were moni-
toring the case.
"Journalists should never have to flee
their country in order to keep safe,"
said Carlos Lauría, CPJ s senior pro-
gramme co-ordinator for the Americas.
"We hold the Trinidadian authorities
responsible for Mark Bassant s well-
being and call on them to investigate
this plot, including possible police
involvement, quickly and thoroughly."
In a May 21 broadcast on CCN,
Dominic Kalipersad, head of news at
the station, cited Griffith and acting
Police Commissioner Stephen Williams
as saying they were aware of the matter
and had launched an investigation.
Griffith told CPJ he could not com-
ment about the ongoing investigation
or what security measures authorities
had taken to ensure Bassant s safety.
American exchange art student, Christopher Jordon, centre, helps unveil the Richmond Street Boys' School
mural during the official unveiling at the school, corner of Richmond and Duke Streets, Port-of-Spain, on
Thursday. Also in the photograph, from left, are New Head of UWI Creative Arts Department, Lesleyann
Noel; Anglican Board Secretary, Merle Brathwaite; Principal, Minmette Solomon; students Jabari Fevecque,
Joshua Hendricks, Jehumeade Meade, Tristin Goodridge and Christopher Mondize; an unidentified person;
PTA member Verselle Skette and Ken Critchlow. The art-work was done by some of the school's pupils (not
in picture) and put together by Jordon to help inspire the pupils. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
in Caribbean jump
five-fold in ten years
New York committee calls
on T&T to protect Bassant
WORK OF ART
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