The Ministry of Health and Wellness will be rolling out a COVID-19 Youth Leaders Response Programme geared towards engaging the country’s young people in the fight against the virus.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, in making the announcement at a virtual press conference on Thursday (October 15), said that the initiative will “promote positive behaviour response and effective engagement by young persons towards the protocols established by the Ministry to protect the general population”.
He said that youth leaders, aged 14 to 35, from rural and urban areas will be targeted, and the idea is to recruit, sensitise and deploy them within their respective communities as change agents.
He said that political leaders will be invited to nominate their key youth leaders to get involved.
Once identified, the youth leaders will be sensitised about the protocols and provide insights on ways in which the infection and control measures can be effectively sustained among their age cohort and others around them, in particular vulnerable groups that they interact with.
“They will then be tasked to go into their communities to do the required work among both young and older persons, utilisng a range of tools,” the Minister said, noting that there will be strict adherence to the health and safety protocols while they engage.
Dr. Tufton said that young people 35 and under have a key role to play in the national COVID response.
“We want them to be a part of this response because we believe that they can communicate and understand and become agents of change based on their leadership qualities,” he noted.
Further details of the programme will be outlined on Friday (October 16), during the launch at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston at 1:00 p.m.