Measures to control and prevent the spread of Cholera were highlighted at a community meeting hosted jointly by the Portland Health Department and the Port Antonio regional office of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Windsor Castle, Portland on Monday, February 28.
The meeting was held as part of a public education drive to sensitise communities to the dangers of the disease, and the importance of cooperating with measures being implemented to prevent its proliferation, particularly in light of the outbreak in neighbouring Haiti.
Health Educator for the Portland Health Department, Valerie McLeary, said it was important for everyone to play their part in the effort to prevent cholera, if the campaign is to be successful. She said the Portland Health Department had embarked on an aggressive preventative campaign, and urged the residents to become proactive and combine their efforts to keep Jamaica cholera free.
Explaining that cholera is a life threatening illness with symptoms of extreme diarrhoea and vomiting needing urgent treatment once it is discovered, she said the risk of exposure to the disease can be minimised by practising good personal hygiene and ensuring that surroundings are kept clean.
Cholera victims are treated with oral rehydration fluids to replace lost fluids. This treatment may be applied intravenously in severely dehydrated victims.
She implored the community members to practise preventative measures, she said those measures include frequent and proper washing with the use of soap, making water safe for consumption by boiling or treating with bleach, preparing food safely, washing hands before eating and preparing food, washing hands after playing with pets, washing hands after using the toilet and safe disposal of body waste.
CONTACT: ASTON G. BAILEY
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE