Alicia Forrest, Gleaner Writer
Community health aides play an important role in ensuring that persons have access to medical treatment. They do door-to-door visits to the elderly, the disabled, and those otherwise unable to make it to a doctor's office. They often assist in providing food packages for the elderly and less fortunate.
The community health aides (CHAs) attached to the Ewarton Health Centre in Ewarton, St Catherine, celebrated Community Health Aide Week from November 3-9. As part of activities, the CHAs cleaned up the premises of and fed 94-year-old Mellbourne 'Mello' Rose. Mello's story was first featured in The Gleaner two years ago, where he pleaded for assistance to complete a one-room structure as he was made homeless by hurricane Ivan in 2004. Today, the structure has still not been completed.
Sonia Thompson, a CHA familiar with Mello's case, said that following the visit during Community Health Aide Week, the Red Cross has since provided assistance with food. She added that a mattress had also been obtained for him through the CHAs' efforts.
Being childless, Mello lives with his sister, Edith Rose-Martin. Her daughter, Agatha 'Miss Doris' Henry, assists with taking care of him daily as Edith, who is 88 years old, is unable to do so as she suffers from poor eyesight. His brother, Luther Rose, also lives nearby. They all depend on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education.
Miss Doris lamented the lack of running water in Gidden, where they live. She said, "Sometimes wi get water once a month, and when they don't come, wi have to buy."
The CHAs have taken an interest in Mello's case as the members of his support system are all elderly and unable to do much more than they are already doing. They do not have reliable transportation, and as a result, Mello has not been seeing a doctor as he should. Rose said: "A long time Mello nuh go doctor. Him used to go in Linstead, but him nuh go since di year start."