Minister of Health, Donville Inniss receiving the??training manuals, on behalf of the Ministry, from Principal of the BCC, Dr. Gladstone Best.??

A collaborative arrangement between the Barbados Community College (BCC) and the Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health has, to date, seen over 5,000 persons trained in food hygiene and 500 in vector control.

This was disclosed recently, as three training manuals on Institutional Hygiene, Swimming Pool Sanitation and Animal Care, developed in conjunction with the BCC, were presented to the Health Ministry last week.

In accepting the manuals, Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, commended environmental health officers and noted that the texts were "designed to build or increase capacity within specified areas such as tourism, health care and educational institutions in both government and non-governmental organisations."

Alluding to support also given by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and Barbados Agricultural Development Management Company Limited, Mr. Inniss said, "It is obvious they recognise that the Environmental Health Department has limited resources, both financial and human, and that such initiatives can assist the department’s efforts at achieving its objectives of risk reduction across the various disciplines for the betterment of society."

Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ingrid Cumberbatch, disclosed that the three additional programmes would commence in September, targeting swimming pool operators and owners, ancillary staffers and dog owners. And, she added, that demand was high for the training, with 9,000 food-handlers, 5,000 grounds maintenance personnel; 1,200 swimming pool operators and 6,000 ancillary workers expected to benefit soon.

BCC’s Principal, Dr. Gladstone Best said the collaboration would continue, with the College ensuring that quality assurance standards were built into all programmes and trainers appropriately prepared to deliver them. He said: "We will continue to monitor the programmes [and] to go through a number of iterations to ensure we have them absolutely right and to maintain the controls throughout…"

The Health Ministry’s newly-renovated training facility will accommodate 24 trainees. It was commissioned on the site that once housed the Environmental Protection Department.

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