JIS News

The St. Mary Health Department recently concluded two weeks of activities aimed at highlighting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and sensitising the parish on the importance of preventing the spread of the diseases.
Making the disclosure to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) during a recent interview, Health Educator for the St. Mary Health Department, Rohema Robinson, said the activities began on Tuesday November 24 and concluded on Saturday December 5.
She added that they included events such as a condom cross-country invasion, free health tests, the holding of hype sessions for the purpose of facilitating extensive discussions on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and increasing the awareness of the public on the realities of living with the disease and the need to appreciate and accept persons suffering from the illness.
Communities in which the activities were conducted included Islington, Richmond, Mango Valley, Port Maria, Hampstead, Gayle, Oracabessa, Scotts Hall and Retreat.
Noting that these communities represent a wide cross-section of the parish, Miss Robinson said their selection as venues for the events helped to ensure that as many persons as possible were able to participate.
She said the condom cross-country invasion facilitated the demonstration of the proper way to use the condom, while the free health tests provided the residents of the communities with the opportunity to undergo testing for HIV/AIDS, blood sugar, hypertension and prostate conditions.
Declaring that the response to the events by the communities was overwhelming, Miss Robinson said the residents were particularly co-operative and receptive to the condom cross-country invasion programme, as well as the hype sessions.
The hype sessions not only facilitated discussions on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, but also an entertainment package which provided fun and excitement for those in attendance.
She said the St. Mary Health Department is firmly committed to continuing the public education initiative to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS in the parish, and exhorted the residents to co-operate, by playing their part to ensure that the objectives of the effort are realised.

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