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  • Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Dr. Andrei Cooke, is reminding members of the public that persons in areas affected by smoke from the Riverton Disposal Site should cover their nose and mouth with a mask or a damp cloth.
  • Meanwhile, Dr. Cooke is assuring the public that the Ministry, through SERHA, has done everything in its power to try and ensure that there is no health fallout due to the ongoing fire at the Riverton Disposal Site.
  • Dr. Cooke added that special arrangements have been made at all major hospitals in the region to facilitate any patient who would have had respiratory challenges from smoke inhalation.

Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Dr. Andrei Cooke, is reminding members of the public that persons in areas affected by smoke from the Riverton Disposal Site should cover their nose and mouth with a mask or a damp cloth.

“The mask that is recommended by the Ministry of Health is the N95, because it protects the individual from inhaling particulate matter of varying sizes that may emanate from the burning site. It can be had at most pharmacies and hardware stores and protects from particulate matter, which a lot of the lower grade masks will not,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cooke is assuring the public that the Ministry, through SERHA, has done everything in its power to try and ensure that there is no health fallout due to the ongoing fire at the Riverton Disposal Site.

“We have purchased in excess of 50 nebulizers to distribute across the region to all major hospitals and to some of our health centres. Over the weekend we intend to open some of the health centres to take some of the pressure off the hospitals and to attend to anyone who may have fallout from any respiratory illnesses,” he said.

Dr. Cooke added that special arrangements have been made at all major hospitals in the region to facilitate any patient who would have had respiratory challenges from smoke inhalation.

“We have made the necessary arrangements at the Kingston Public Hospital, the Spanish Town Hospital, the National Chest Hospital and the Bustamante Hospital for Children to attend to any patient who comes with fallout from the smoke,” he said.

The Chairman noted that the elderly and children are the most vulnerable. Dr. Cooke urged persons to stay indoors, keep doors closed, use dust masks or a damp cloth to reduce their exposure to the smoke.

He also said “if you have any sort of respiratory challenge, please go to a health centre or facility, so that we can assess you and help you.”