IMMEDIATE past president of the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI), Karen Brown, is encouraging more young people to consider a career as public health inspectors.
Speaking to students at the St Ann's Bay Primary School in St Ann on Tuesday, Brown said that health inspectors contribute significantly to sustainable development by safeguarding the health and safety of the nation.
She described the profession as a “humanitarian job”, noting that it takes into account the health of an entire population, rather than focusing on health at an individual level.
Brown said that health inspectors monitor public facilities and private businesses to ensure that they are in compliance with local and international standards for health and safety.
“We do monitor water quality to ensure that the water that you drink is safe. We also do meat inspection. A lot of persons consume meat, and of course, if the meat is not safe, then that can result in ill health,” she pointed out.
“Public health inspectors are also involved in the monitoring of the environment to ensure that there are no ill health conditions. So there are many, many more duties that are performed by public health inspectors, and so I know that it is a very awesome job… a career that you can think of pursuing in the future,” she said.
Brown said, too, that health have been playing a critical role in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We have been doing a lot in terms of trying to help to contain the pandemic. We have been combatting dengue fever; that is why we currently are not experiencing an outbreak,” she said.
Brown, meanwhile, pledged to use her position as part of the Executive Council of the JAPHI to advocate for more support for the training of health inspectors.
She said training is offered at the University of Technology, Jamaica over four years to obtain a bachelor's degree.
There are some 450 public health inspectors employed across the island.