Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer and Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, presented with a video promoting the Kiwanis Environmental Health and Learning Initiative (KEHLI), during a ceremony at the Cabinet Office, in Kingston, on Monday, July 12.
An initiative of the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, the KEHLI is aimed at improving the learning environment of urban schools. The video, entitled ‘Choking on Air’, which was viewed by the Ministers, highlighted some of the harmful effects of pollutants in the environment, on school children in these areas.
The project focuses on reducing environmental factors in the school environment that may lead to learning and developmental disorders. These factors include air quality, lighting, noise, toxic chemicals, sanitation and food safety.
Health Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (left), interacts with (from second left), President of the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, Suzanne Leslie-Bailey; Managing Director and Consulting Principal at Environmental Solutions Limited, Eleanor B. Jones; Immediate Past President of the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston, Yvonne Joy-Crawford and Director of Environmental Services at Environmental Solutions, Sharonmae Shirley. Occasion was a ceremony held on July12 at the Cabinet Office in Kingston, to present the Health Minister and Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness with a video promoting the Kiwanis Environmental Health and Learning Initiative (KEHLI).
Minister Spencer congratulated the Kiwanis of New Kingston for “a very important project,” while pledging his support.
He said that the video would be replicated, so that all regional health authorities would be mindful of the effects of certain environmental factors.
For his part, Minister Holness said the video presentation was “an eye opener,” noting his intention to pass it on to the construction services section within the Ministry.
The video production forms part of the project’s environmental health sensitisation programme. Other aspects of the sensitisation initiative include the formulation of an environmental health manual, posters and specialist talks and activities, including training in food handling within the school environment.
According to a brief on the initiative, improvement of the physical environment will include dust abatement through appropriate landscaping, vector control through waste management and sanitation upgrading.
The schools for the programme initially, include the Club sponsored schools in high risk environmental areas. The Club is working through Key Clubs, principals, staff, students and the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) in implementing the project.
President of the Club, Suzanne Leslie-Bailey, who noted that the all female Kiwanis club focuses greatly on the health and education of children, informed that the immediate Past-President of the Club, Mrs. Yvonne Joy Crawford, had conceptualised the project.