Some 73 young persons were recruited by the Westmoreland Parish Council late last year to work with the parish's Public Health Department on the Dengue Fever Alert Programme.
Addressing the Council at a meeting on January 12, Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar and Chairman of the Council, Bertel Moore, said the persons who were trained by the Health Department, were deployed across selected communities of Westmoreland to hand out pamphlets and engage citizens and householders about preventive measures to eradicate mosquitoes.
He told JIS News that the objective was to give the selected young person’s an opportunity to engage in some positive work and also to earn an income.
The Mayor expressed the hope that as time goes by; the Council will be able to continue similar initiatives of employing young people from the parish to educate the citizens on important health issues.
Chief Public Health Inspector of the parish, Steve Morris, told JIS News that the Council should be commended for assisting the Health Department in such an essential public education programme, which was part of a Caribbean Dengue Fever Alert initiative.
"The Health Department had a successful collaboration with the Westmoreland Parish Council, where some 73 students who were on holiday from high schools were hired and given to us. We in turn trained them and sent them back into their respective communities to educate community members on the prevention of dengue," he said.
He explained that throughout the entire Caribbean, a number of suspected cases had surfaced and the Health Department thought it necessary to be on alert and monitor the situation, hence the education initiative across Westmoreland.
"We are not under any dengue outbreak in Jamaica, but just to be on alert, we get our public education initiative in action. We are engaged in other education initiatives, such as a local radio programme where we speak about prevention practices, and visits by the health department to communities at regular intervals to enforce the efforts of prevention," Mr. Morris said.