“Throughout all of our planning for healthcare facilities and services in the event of disasters, we must never forget the importance of our communities.”
This plea was made today by Minister of Health Donville Inniss, as he addressed the 4th Annual Health Fair of the Lions and Leo Clubs of Barbados at Heroes’ Square, in commemoration of World Health Day.
Mr. Inniss said: “The harsh reality is that your neighbours are usually the first ones on the scene of an emergency and the actions taken in the first few minutes can often make a difference between life and death.
“Therefore, it is imperative that our various communities reach the stage where we recognise and support groups such as our District Emergency Organisations and at the same time ensure that more of our citizens are trained in basic emergency response skills, such as first aid.”
Acknowledging the collaborative efforts of non-governmental organisations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Red Cross and Asthma Association, the Minister noted that coupled with the deployment of other resources in strategic locations, these helped to position the health ministry “to more effectively manage emergencies”.
While noting that the mounting of a health fair required a great deal of co-ordination and planning, he commended the Lions and Leo Clubs of Barbados “for the considerable work” done in the community and urged them to “continue to explore new ways of expanding your clubs”.
“Your work in the health sector is particularly exemplary. Whether it be in areas related to disease prevention, health promotion, diabetes awareness, youth outreach or international relations, environmental issues, and other programmes that support the community, you have indeed been a haven for many, offering comfort to individuals, families and groups who have had to deal with wide ranging efforts of disease and other health problems.”
The Annual Health Fair at Heroes’ Square plays a vital role in educating the public on matters pertaining to health and safety.