The UWI Regional Taskforce on Zika is greatly saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of our esteemed colleague, Professor Dave Chadee, a.k.a. "The Mosquito Man". Put simply, the Caribbean has lost its foremost authority on mosquito prevention.
Dave had a most unusual trajectory in academia, rising from the ranks of the Ministry and publishing scientific papers on mosquito control in Trinidad even before he joined The University of the West Indies. He rose rapidly within the University to become Professor of Environmental Health and I count myself lucky to have shared the stage with Dave at our conferral of the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research in 2010. Dave went on to garner further regional recognition with the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence in Science & Technology in 2013 and The Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA) Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Public Health including Vector Control in 2015. When I was tasked with forming The UWI's Zika response in February of 2016, Dave was - unsurprisingly - the first person on my speed dial! He has contributed as an avid member of the Zika Task Force and even on the day of his death chaired a meeting to develop the foundation for a school's curriculum on mosquito prevention. It is my sincere hope that this investment in youth awareness will become Dave's lasting legacy to Caribbean mosquito control.
The forthcoming book published by The UWI Regional Task Force on Zika: "One Environment, One Health: Informing the Caribbean's Response to Zika" will be dedicated to Dave's memory. Our thoughts in the Task Force are with Dave's family at this difficult time and we hope they can find comfort in the high esteem that Dave was held amongst his colleagues, in The UWI, the region, and internationally, from Brazil, to Italy, to China. Dave was a "one off" and I count myself lucky to have known him as a colleague.
Professor Clive Landis
Chair, The UWI Regional Task Force on Zika