Health Department on a Drive to Creating Healthier Communities

Author:  Latoya Laylor Brown
The Manchester Health Services, which has responsibility for delivering effective secondary and primary healthcare to residents in the parish of Manchester, is on a drive to creating healthier communities.

Major Richard CookeSpeaking at a Public Forum on Wednesday, June 14 on the grounds of the Manchester Health Department in Manchester, Parish Manager for the Manchester Health Services, Mr. Earl Mclaughlin stated that the health team has embarked on several initiatives to promote the holistic approach needed to cultivate balance in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Parish Manager explained that some of the programmes include increased health fairs and screenings in several communities, a series of public consultations targeting residents and community groups and Targeted Community Interventions (TCI) which aim to impact positive bahaviour changes in relation to health and wellness, behavioural and environmental health practices. Mr. McLaughlin added that the TCI is being implemented in the Georges Valley and Greenvale communities in Manchester for a year.

Mr. McLaughlin added that the health team has also boosted its environmental health programmes to enhance the delivery of effective and efficient environmental health. He noted that this is being accomplished through the Public Health Inspectorate body, who have boosted food safety inspection; solid waste disposal monitoring; water monitoring; community engagement through public education and inspection and monitoring of public and private health care facilities.

Guest Speaker and President of the Joy Town Redevelopment Foundation, Major Richard Cooke, who was instrumental in the redevelopment process of the Trench Town community in Kingston shared

audiencewith the audience the ingredients for building a healthier community. He highlighted several strategies and initiatives which can support the transformation and redevelopment of a community.

Major Cooke noted that healthy communities are indeed possible; however, the dedication and support of a wide cross section of society is essential to achieving this goal.

comm memberMr. McLaughlin noted that the Public Forum, which was held under the theme, "Empowering Our Communities for a Healthier You", is part of the Health Department's celebration of Health Month. He added that other activities include a Cultural Day and Concert on June 22 on the grounds of the Manchester Health Department; Customer Appreciation Day at the Percy Junor Hospital at 9:00 a.m. on June 28 and a staff physical activity excursion on June 29 in Westmoreland.

Other activities included a Church Service on June 3, handing over of the refurbished Mile Gully Health Centre on June 12 and a recognition ceremony for retired Parish Manager, Mr. Stanhope Scott.