#MONTEGO BAY, March 19 (JIS): The Trelawny Health Department is undertaking a comprehensive public education programme aimed at increasing knowledge about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and reducing its spread.
Parish Health Promotion and Education Officer, Althea Gayle Palmer, told JIS News that public health personnel have been engaged in sensitisation sessions across the parish, reinforcing the need for people to be vigilant about hygiene practices and social distancing.
“We have all health stakeholders on board, so we are basically working together. We have trained all the vector-control workers; we have trained all our Community Health Aides, all our healthcare workers to execute.
“We are distributing our educational materials; we are using video presentations; we are using the intercom [at health facilities] to sensitise persons. We are doing small group sessions as well as one-on-one educational sessions,” she noted.
Mrs. Gayle Palmer told JIS News that the public has been alerted about the severity of COVID-19 and how behaviour change can reduce its spread and save lives.
“The message is the general message being sent by the Ministry of Health [and Wellness]. Persons are to stay home as much as possible; children are to stay home and limit your presence in the public. They are told to eat healthy by including fruits and vegetables in their diet and, of course, rest, relax, and engage in physical activity,” she said.
“When it comes to hygiene and cough etiquette, we are pushing that. Of course… we are ensuring that persons wash their hands because that cannot be substituted for anything else, but also to have their hand sanitiser just in case they are out in the public,” Mrs. Gayle-Palmer added.
She noted that a number of entities, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the judiciary and the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), have requested educational sessions for their staff in response to COVID-19.
Mrs. Gayle-Palmer told JIS News that from observation in the field, residents have been taking personal responsibility to guard against contracting the virus.
“We are on target and we realise that the public is very much aware. In the health facilities, we enforce the protocols and persons try to maintain their distance. It is not overcrowded in our facilities. Everybody is on board and we are doing what is recommended,” she said.
JIS News by NICKIETA STERLING