PAHO Do­nates Bed Nets to Min­istry of Health

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of Health re­ceived a quan­tity of bed nets from the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PAHO) to as­sist in the Zika re­sponse. The pre­sen­ta­tion was made on Fri­day 13th May in the Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Health’s con­fer­ence Room in Bois d’Orange.

In mak­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion Va­lerie Beach-Horne, PAHO’s Coun­try Pro­gramme Spe­cial­ist stated, “These nets, I am sure, will not cover all of the peo­ple who are at risk but I hope they will go a long way to help­ing the preven­tion of the bites of the mos­quito that we know is present in our coun­try and is re­spon­si­ble for spread­ing three ma­jor dis­eases: Zika, Chikun­gunya and Dengue.

“We have this mos­quito with us and part of the strat­egy to pre­vent­ing the spread of Zika is self-pro­tec­tion from bites. We are giv­ing these in ad­di­tion to much more tech­ni­cal sup­port that we have al­ready given and we will con­tinue to give to the min­istry in terms of train­ing staff, pro­vid­ing ma­te­rial and sup­port so that we could rid our coun­try of the Aedes ae­gypti mos­quito and also pre­vent the spread of these dis­eases.”

Ac­cept­ing on be­half of the Min­istry of Health was Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Dr. Mer­lene Fred­er­icks who thanked PAHO for the timely do­na­tion.

“This is not the first do­na­tion we have re­ceived from the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion. PAHO has been in­stru­men­tal in as­sist­ing us in our re­sponse and we still have in stock right now some mos­quito nets from our pre­vi­ous Chikun­gunya re­sponse which we are uti­liz­ing in our hos­pi­tals in the treat­ment and man­age­ment of pa­tients who are ill and ad­mit­ted from vec­tor-re­lated dis­eases. So this ship­ment will be used pri­mar­ily in our pri­mary care cen­tres, at our an­te­na­tal clin­ics where we treat, man­age and mon­i­tor our preg­nant women dur­ing their preg­nancy.”

Dr. Fred­er­ick in­di­cated that the bed nets will be dis­trib­uted among the 33 Well­ness Cen­tres in­clud­ing Soufriere and Den­nery District Hos­pi­tals so preg­nant women in need of bed nets can ac­cess one free of charge from these fa­cil­i­ties. This is in an ef­fort to de­crease the risk of Zika virus­borne in­fec­tions, es­pe­cially dur­ing preg­nancy.

Va­lerie Beach-Horne, PAHO’s Coun­try Pro­gramme Spe­cial­ist (left) and Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer Dr. Mer­lene Fred­er­icks with some of the do­na­tions.

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