The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), in its drive towards full COVID-19 education in Manchester and Clarendon has collaborated with the office of the Custodes in both parishes to host a series on Covid-19 intervention and response programmes spanning the region.
The initiative came about as a response to the island experiencing the Community Spread Phase of the pandemic. One of the many intervention/response programmes scheduled was held in Mandeville, Manchester on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and saw Custos Rotolorum of the parish, Hon. Garfield Green, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), and members of staff from the different health facilities within the parish flood the streets.
Brochures, bumper stickers and masks were among the items given to residents and business operators within the city. Brief COVID-19 education and awareness sessions were also conducted, aimed at reinforcing the importance of obeying COVID-19 protocols, and teaching business owners how to properly and efficiently implement such.
Custos Green said that based on his observation, he believes residents in Mandeville are very receptive to the COVID-19 message. “Certainly everyone out there is aware of the virus and I saw almost everyone with a mask, they were not necessarily wearing it properly, which is something we have to improve, but almost everyone had a mask. The taxi men were asking for masks, and there was also a really good reception in the Mandeville Market, there was not one instance where we received any backlash.”
On Thursday, November 26, 2020, another Intervention Programme was held in May Pen, Clarendon, with over 100 Community Health Aides (CHAs) flooding the streets. The focus of this leg of the intervention programme was to provide tips and guidance to taxi operators within the parish capital.
Custos of the Parish, Hon. William “Billy” Shagoury, was monumental in helping to drive the cause, donating 2,450 reusable face masks along with 900 bumper stickers to be handed out to taxi men, residents and business operators within the city.
Custos Shagoury also combined with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kings Chemical Company limited, Courtney Thomas, to donate 300 hand sanitizers to the CHAs and health workers within the parish.
Custos Shagoury, speaking to the CHAs and health workers prior to their foray into streets, highlighted the importance of having educational initiatives across the region. “Covid-19 can be a very ruthless disease hence it is imperative that we go through the proper process of constantly educating citizens and reminding them that we cannot let up in our adherence to the protocols and rules set up for our protection,” he said.
The Custos also urged the CHAs and health workers to lead by example when interacting with individuals on the streets. “Though you will be going out to educate others, please ensure that you remain safe, a lot of you have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and other family members at home and the last thing we want is for either you or them to get sick. We need you fit and able so you can continue to spread the message so please remain vigilant,” he stressed.
Mr. Thomas, expressed his gratitude and admiration towards the health care workers involved in the various intervention initiatives. “It does not matter how much hand sanitizer or soap or disinfectant we can contribute, as long as persons don’t obey the protocols we will still be in trouble, so I just want to commend the health workers on the constant effort being put out and I am urging you all as we go into the Christmas season, just to remain safe,” he said.