Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Ministry will be employing 1,200 community health aides to assist in the continued fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) islandwide.
He said expansion of the programme is critical, as the workers will assist in providing information to citizens about their role in infection prevention and control.
The Minister was responding to questions posed by Councillor, Whitfield Town Division, Eugene Kelly, during today’s (July 14) sitting of the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
“In fact, about 700 [health aides] are being trained now and they are going to be deployed in the communities. So, that would answer your question about mobilising people to send out flyers and to visit… that is in train,” he said.
Additionally, Dr. Tufton said the community health aides will be deployed as needed and are an important part of the cadre of public health workers.
“They are going to be working out of the health authorities, the community health centres and guided and directed by the regional authorities, so you are going to see a lot of them,” the Minister said.
“Part of their job is to educate, inform, teach, motivate, bring back information, and then if we have an issue, we would coordinate a response to that issue. They are going to be focusing on vulnerable groups [as well],” he added.
Dr. Tufton noted that the Ministry has utilised a multipronged approach to communicating with Jamaicans and visitors about protecting themselves from COVID-19.
“We have had town criers in the field. We have been communicating the message through TV, radio, print, social media… . We could add more, but a lot has been happening in terms of the communication, and we change that communication very frequently,” he said.