Health Ministry conducts COVID sensitisation walk through Norwood

July 12, 2020
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton (right) distributes a mask and flyer to Tashoya Henderson during a sensitisation walk through in sections of Norwood, Montego Bay, St. James on Friday, July 10.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, led a team of public health officials from St. James on a COVID-19 sensitisation walk, through sections of the Norwood community on Friday.

The health team, which consisted of senior health officials, public health inspectors, community health aides and vector control workers, distributed masks and pamphlets, as well as raised awareness about COVID-19, dengue prevention and non-communicable diseases.

Blood pressure and blood sugar checks, as well as HIV prevention talks were also conducted at the Norwood Basic School, throughout the day. 

The walk through started at the Norwood Basic School, then on to Roses Crescent and ended on Bond Lane.

The event dubbed 'COVID-19 Reintegration' was held under the theme ‘Stomping out Stigma and Discrimination.’

Addressing health workers at Norwood Basic School prior to the walk, Dr. Tufton stated that the spread of COVID-19 in Norwood has been stemmed, owing to the quick action of public health officials in the Western Region. 

“Norwood has had an issue recently where we have had a little spread of the virus and we were eventually able to stop the spread and discovered persons who were positive. We sent in the team, we went through, we interviewed, we did temperature checks and we were able to cauterise and manage the process,” he said.

“Commendations to you healthcare workers, and the leadership at the regional level, at the parish level because you went in quickly; you acted effectively and the community responded and supported your action. What that tells me is that we have a model that works, we have a team that knows what to do when the time comes,” Dr. Tufton outlined.  

On the issue of stigma and discrimination, he urged members of the public to stop the practice, noting that anyone can be infected or affected by COVID-19.

“We anticipate that we are going to have these episodes all over the country because COVID-19 is now here in Jamaica, so there is always going to be a case in a particular community,” Dr. Tufton said.

“With that people have an impression of your community and the people who live within it a different impression, a bad impression, a negative impression."

"I hear that taxi drivers don’t want to carry people because they hear that they come from Norwood. I want to say we have to stop that. We have to change that behaviour, ill health is no respecter of persons,” he advised.

Meanwhile, Medical Officer of Health for St. James, Dr. Marcia Johnson - Campbell said that the St. James Public Health Services will continue to place strong emphasis on promoting and protecting public health.

“We want to extend our services and to say to the general Norwood community, that the St James Public Health Services is here to work and to keep you safe."

"The team is out here in all our numbers, in all our strength, because it is our determination that no one will die because of inappropriate public health measures. When the Ministry of Health implements certain strategies, it is not about one person it is about the public,” she said.

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