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Health Ministry to hire more health aides under zika virus programme

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Ministry of Health is looking to engage an additional 500 public health aides this year as part of its Zika virus-response programme, aimed at ridding communities of mosquito-breeding sites.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the aides will assist public health workers in the field in identifying vector-breeding sites, as well as impressing upon residents the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.

"We have started to hire 500 public health community aides and we are now looking at the possibility of increasing that to 1,000," JIS news quoted him as saying.

He was addressing public health services stakeholders in St James during the parish annual review on Thursday at the St John's Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.

Tufton said that 1,000 vector control aides have been trained by the HEART Trust-NTA.




He noted that a key part of the work of the public health aides "is to talk to people to help them understand the importance of good public health and how that is influenced by good healthy practices in their local environment".

The minister added that "helping them to appreciate that, before it turns into a crisis, is a very critical component of the preventative focus, which is what we want to emphasise rather than the curative, because, as you know, it is always cheaper to prevent than to cure".