Trinidadian songwriter fights Zika in song

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Trinidadian singer-songwriter Darryl Gervais has recorded a new song for to raise awareness in the Caribbean about the need to fight Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that carries Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and other arboviruses.

PAHO said on Tuesday that the song, “Do Your Part,” serves as a musical public service announcement (PSA) set to an electro-Caribbean melody.

The song warns listeners that “there’s a danger in our region causing problems that can affect us all,” adding that “We’ve got to come together as one” to eradicate Aedes aegypti.

Some “good things to do” to fight the mosquito are to safely discard containers that can collect water, make sure drains are free flowing, and use bed nets at night, as well as in the daytime, the song says.

“We’re urging everyone to do their part today, because together we can make it better,” Gervais sings.

PAHO said the song will be broadcast by 112 media outlets in 24 Caribbean countries as part of LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance, a multiplatform public service campaign that seeks to inspire audiences—especially young people—to make healthy life choices and to play an active role in stemming the spread of HIV, reducing stigma and discrimination, and promoting love, respect and protection in their communities.

Arboviruses, especially Zika and chikungunya, have been a major public health problem in the Caribbean in recent years, PAHO said.

It said the main vector for these viruses has been the Aedes aegypti mosquito, “which is widely distributed in both the Caribbean and Latin America.”

PAHO said Aedes mosquitoes bite primarily in the morning and at dusk, but also at other times of the day.

“The mosquito is well adapted to human settlements and prefers to breed in water in manmade containers, such as discarded cans and tires,” PAHO said. “Effectively controlling the mosquito requires action on the part of individuals, families and communities to eliminate breeding sites.”

PAHO said Gervais is a seven-time Caribbean Marlin Awards nominee, renowned or his “positive music” that seeks to, in his own words, “uplift, inspire, encourage and bring hope.”

Gervais’ previous songs include “Never Give Up,” “Unconditional Love” and “Feel Good Anthem.”

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