Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite, accepting the Achievement of Excellence Award for the Public Sector, sponsored by Almond Resorts Inc., from Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Taylor, while Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, Desmond King, looks on.

Years of working collaboratively with the tourism industry paid dividends recently for the Environmental Health Division.

The work of that department, a section of the Ministry of Health, was recognised when it received the Achievement of Excellence Award for the Public Sector at the prestigious Barbados Tourism Awards 2009 Gala, held June 6, at Ilaro Court, the official home of Prime Minister David Thompson and his wife Mara.

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewaite, and his deputy Desmond King were on hand to accept the award, which they afterwards described as "deserving".

The senior officials noted that the department undertook several functions in collaboration with the tourism industry which included inspection and licensing of all hotels and guesthouses, as well as bars; inspection, licensing and monitoring of restaurants and swimming pools and continued training of food handlers within the sector.

According to them, future initiatives for this sector would include introducing training programmes for swimming pool operators as well as one in Institutional Hygiene Training, both with the primary objective of building capacity within the field to assist in the reduction of environmental health risks and communicable diseases.

"We have always followed the Ministry of Health’s Strategic Plan 2002-2012, which has guided the development of work and tactical plans for various units to pursue and execute. Additionally, we are vigourously pursuing the requirements of the International Health Regulations 2005, instituted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the international spread of diseases through the strengthening of our core capacity at the various points of entry.

"Twenty-four Environmental Health Officers are deployed at these three official points of entry – the Grantley Adams International Airport in Christ Church;?? the Bridgetown Port [The City] and Port St. Charles in St. Peter – to reduce risks associated with international trade and travel," explained Mr. King, the Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer.

For an agency which lives by the motto "The Health of the Nation is the Wealth of the Nation", as outlined in its Ministry’s Strategic Plan, attaining the Achievement of Excellence Award for the public sector, is "well-deserved".??

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