Government will be expanding the number of public health personnel which would provide opportunities for 60 Barbadians to work alongside Environmental Health Assistants as Environmental Health Liaison Officers in communities across Barbados.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this announcement last night during a national address carried on radio, social media platforms and CBC Channel 8.
Ms. Mottley intimated that a proactive approach to taking care of the needs of the community was needed and Government was committed to ensuring that the vulnerable was not left behind during this crisis.
“We need to pick sense from what happened this week. At least three of the people who presented were elderly people who probably came later than the doctors would have wanted them to come. I say that to make the point that I want us to be more proactive. I asked the Welfare Department and the Czar, Mr. Carter, to look and see how best we can reach out to all those over 70 in every community.”
The Prime Minister continued: “I am not a doctor, but I am satisfied that the earlier you catch something, hopefully the easier it is for you to manage it, if not prevent it.… To that extent, let us take the time to see if the people living five houses down one side, five houses down the other side and 10 houses opposite to make sure that if there is anybody in that catchment area that needs our assistance that we can reach out to the COVID hotline or to the Welfare Department or to the Ministry of People Empowerment in order to assist them.”
Ms. Mottley lauded the Welfare Department for the “wonderful job” it did over the last week with the distribution of care packages to help people get through the curfew period.
She also announced further measures, including handing out vulnerable household cards in the next seven to 10 days, and a 40 per cent increase on all welfare payments, which went into effect on April 1.
The Prime Minister reminded Barbadians of their duty to check on the welfare of their neighbours.
“But I need you … whether in Bush Hall, whether in Crab Hill, whether in Gemswick, whether in Lammings, Bathsheba, Sherborne … all around, for us to look around and see who are the elderly people in here and who are living alone and let’s check on them.
“We need love in this country now. Love for our family members, love for our neighbours, love for the people with whom we work. There is nobody in this country or in this region who could have predicted what we are in now … but I know that we are stronger dealing with it interlocked, supporting each other, than with everything going in all different directions,” she stated.