PAHO team to fi­nally solve odour prob­lem at Corn­wall Re­gional

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - An­drew Har­ris Gleaner Writer an­drew.har­ris@glean­erjm.com

ATEAM of three ex­perts from the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (PAHO) is ex­pected to ar­rive in the is­land to­mor­row morn­ing to carry out a joint op­er­a­tion with lo­cal ex­perts, in order to ad­dress the odour prob­lem that has been plagu­ing the Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal (CRH) in St James for a num­ber of years.

The PAHO team will con­sist of an en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tant and a tox­i­col­ogy con­sul­tant, who will as­sist the lo­cal team in as­sess­ing the source of the prob­lem and find­ing an ac­cept­able so­lu­tion. The ex­perts will join the teams from the Min­istry of Health, Western Re­gional Health Author­ity, CRH, Health Fa­cil­i­ties Man­age­ment Unit, and En­vi­ron­men­tal So­lu­tions Lim­ited.

Though the real source of the is­sue is yet to be de­ter­mined, a pre­lim­i­nary as­sess­ment has linked the non-op­er­a­tion of the cen­tral ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem at CRH from as far back as 1997 as a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the odour prob­lems be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced.

The is­sue resur­faced last month, caus­ing ma­jor dis­com­fort to pa­tients and staff on the first to third floors and re­sulted in the sus­pen­sion of clin­ics and out­pa­tient ser­vices. This prompted the health min­istry to seek out­side aid to help solve the dilemma once and for all.

YEARS OF NE­GLECT

Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of Health Dr Christo­pher Tufton, the prob­lem is as a re­sult of a seven-year-old mal­odour af­fect­ing the first to third floors of the hos­pi­tal, track­ing back to 2009. Tufton be­lieves that it wors­ened as a re­sult of years of ne­glect of the in­sti­tu­tion over a pe­riod of time, cou­pled with poor main­te­nance.

“This is the rea­son why I have re­quested that PAHO be brought in, so that we can make quick as­sess­ments and come up with a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem once and for all,” Min­is­ter Tufton told The Sun­day Gleaner yes­ter­day.

It was not de­ter­mined how long the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will last; how­ever, Tufton con­ceded that it will im­pact the hos­pi­tal in a ma­jor way, be­cause “the three af­fected floors are the most im­por­tant floors to the hos­pi­tal”.

The process will re­sult in the dis­place­ment of a num­ber of pa­tients, and hence, the health min­istry has made the nec­es­sary ar­range­ments to ac­com­mo­date them at other health fa­cil­i­ties. Nearby clin­ics will also be utilised, and some ma­jor cases will be sent to other hos­pi­tals. CRH staff will also be af­fected.

“We have to rent ad­di­tional fa­cil­i­ties, resched­ule some ap­point­ments, and so on; how­ever, we have put to­gether a team to min­imise the dis­place­ment,” Tufton noted.

“You’re talk­ing about records be­ing stored, and with­out the records you can­not treat the pa­tients, so it will im­pact the hos­pi­tal greatly.”

Dr Christo­pher Tufton

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