Health Ministry Continues to be Vigilant


The Ministry of Health will continue to be vigilant against disease outbreak in the post-hurricane period, as it mobilizes its health teams to educate the public on sanitary practices and food safety issues, and conduct vector control interventions.
Ministry of Health emergency team representative, Dr. Irving McKenzie, has said that the health authorities were paying keen attention to areas like Portland Cottage in Clarendon, which was badly damaged by the passage of Hurricane Dean on Sunday, August 19.
Dr. McKenzie was speaking at a recent press briefing hosted by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
“In terms of preventing disease outbreak, we will continue our vigilance in the field, especially in the southern region, such as Portland Cottage. We’re looking at controlling those vectors; we’re looking at trying to restore health services there,” he informed.
In the meantime, Dr. McKenzie said that surveillance teams from all levels of the Ministry have been activated to monitor the impact on environmental health. “We are looking on water quality monitoring, and we have our teams at all levels. I’m speaking from the level of National EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) from the Ministry of Health. We have our regional emergency body and also at the parish level.
Our public health inspectors and health teams, and public health doctors are out there in the field ensuring that we do our water quality monitoring,” he assured.
Dr. McKenzie noted that in terms of food safety, to date, the Ministry of Health has condemned over 2,000 pounds of meat and meat products in the north-east region. “We want to use this time to really encourage people to follow all the safety advisories that the Ministry of Health is putting out there in terms of food safety and to make sure that we take care of ourselves and to implement all the necessary measures to take care of yourself, your family and neighbours,” he said.
On the matter of vector control, he said that, “because of the minimal amount of rainfall, we don’t have much problems in terms of vectors, like mosquitoes, but nevertheless, we’re on the ground doing our assessment.”
“We’re doing the larvicidal work, and we’ve also set up a fogging schedule to target those critical areas, especially those areas that we remember after the malaria outbreak. We’re going especially in the south and many other communities,” he added.
Dr. McKenzie said the Ministry would continue to educate persons about sanitation issues, as they relate to latrines and hand washing.

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