Health

500 more health aides to be hired for Zika programme

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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THE Ministry of Health will engage an additional 500 public health aides this year as part of its Zika virus response programme, aimed at ridding communities of mosquito breeding sites.

Health Minister Christopher Tufton said the aides will assist public health workers in the field in identifying vector breeding sites, as well as impressing upon residents the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.

“We have started to hire 500 public health community aides and we are now looking at the possibility of increasing that to 1,000,” he said.

He was addressing public health service stakeholders in St James during the parish annual review on Thursday at the St John's Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.

He said that 1,000 vector control aides have been trained by the HEART Trust/NTA.

Dr Tufton noted that a key part of the work of the public health aides “is to talk to people to help them understand the importance of good public health and how that is influenced by good, healthy practices in their local environment”.

“Helping them to appreciate that before it turns into a crisis is a very critical component of the preventative focus, which is what we want to emphasise rather than the curative, because as you know, it is always cheaper to prevent than to cure,” he added.

The parish annual review, conducted through the Western Regional Health Authority, was aimed at assessing the activities of the St James public health services and to discuss challenges encountered.

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