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  Mosquito-Born Disease Prevention

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Greater Shepparton Foundation's Mosquito-Borne Disease Intervention  Prevention program is a part of our community flood recovery efforts. 

This program sees every child attending local kindergartens in 2023 having access to free insect repellent, and in-language information to ensure more families in our community are informed and safe from mosquito-borne diseases and their life-long impacts.

English - Preventing Mosquito-Borne disease and protecting children flyer

Jose Sierra arrived in Australia to gain work experience and build his skills and knowledge as a multimedia specialist.  When Venezuela experienced a further decline in democratic rights and increasing unrest in 2017, Jose was granted a Protection Visa.  Similar to other refugees, now that Jose has built his English language skills, he has been able to secure work in his chosen field and has supported Wise Well Women in producing these videos. We thank Jose for his work with the community to bring in-language mosquito-borne disease messaging to parents in Greater Shepparton.

​After a flood or heavy rainfall, mosquitoes grow and spread in the pools of water left behind.  Mosquitoes can carry diseases and spread it by biting you.  The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites!

​Mosquito-borne diseases in Victoria include the Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus. JE and MVE viruses can cause severe illness and death in some people.

When it became evident that this was going to be a real issue for our community after the significant flooding and subsequent flood waters not being able to recede for weeks, we responded by developing this program and seeking partners to implement it into the community.

We know our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities,, also face language and cultural barriers may have not previously had access to this prevention information like their English-speaking counterparts therefore it was important that this education extends to those cohorts on our community.

GSF strives for inclusive, interconnected communities where everybody has an equal opportunity to participate therefore providing not only repellent, but also information in various languages via video and print ensures more in our community have equal opportunity to stay informed and safe from mosquito borne diseases.

Some of the most effective protective measures to remember are:

  • Mosquitos are attracted to dark colours and are more active at dawn and dusk, so where possible wear light coloured long loose clothing and use insect repellents during these times.

  • Use repellents which contain Picaridin or DEET compound (always follow label directions)

  • Avoid perfumes and aftershave lotions as mosquitos are attracted to these.

  • Ensure that flywire screens on windows and doors are properly maintained to block mosquitoes from entering the home.

Using insect repellents safely with children (as advised by Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne).  Using an insect repellent can be helpful in preventing insect bites, and most repellents now use one of two main active ingredients – DEET or Picaridin.  Always use repellent as directed by the manufacturer.

  • Roll-on preparations are preferable to sprays.

  • Apply sparingly to exposed skin.

  • Do not use on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

  • Do not apply to areas around the eyes or mouth.

  • Do not apply to the hands or fingers of young children.

  • When returning indoors, wash repellent off skin with soap and water.

  • Store repellents out of the reach of children.

  • If you need to apply both sunscreen and repellent, apply the sunscreen first. Products combining sunscreen and insect repellent are not recommended, as sunscreen generally needs to be reapplied more often than insect repellent.

The  prevention program supported by FRRR, Pratt Foundation, Wise Well Women and Greater Shepparton City Council.

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