JIS News

Community Health Aides (CHA) attached to Westmoreland Health Services will benefit from the staging of a virtual diabetes education forum on Wednesday (November 4).

The event is part of activities to mark CHA Week, which is being observed from November 1 to 7 under the theme ‘The Eyes and Ears of the Community’.

In an interview with JIS News, Senior CHA for the parish, Angela Whittaker-Thorbourne, said that Wednesday’s forum will be used as an opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes and its risk factors, as well as promote healthy-living behaviour among the health workers.

She explained that diabetes education is being given focus, as November is also being observed as Diabetes Awareness Month.

“As health workers we are normally taking care of other persons, but this year, we will be focusing on ourselves. This is a parish education, so all the Community Health Aides in Westmoreland will be educated via Zoom and a YouTube link, ” she informed.

Mrs. Thorbourne pointed out that activities to commemorate CHA Week have been scaled down this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“This year, unfortunately, we could not have a church service but we wore our uniforms to our respective churches (on Saturday and Sunday) and… then we had our clinical duties Monday and Tuesday,” she noted.

There are 130 CHAs attached to the Westmoreland Health Services, 62 of whom were recently employed and trained by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as part of a strategic framework to prepare the population to live with COVID-19.

The CHA programme was initiated in Jamaica in 1967 to assist in the delivery of basic healthcare in communities and health centres across the island.

Community Health Aides are responsible for assisting with the management of sick and aged residents in communities. They also conduct follow-up visits after persons have gone through the primary and secondary healthcare system.

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