The Ministry of Health is making use of continuous training to reduce the incidence of mortality and morbidity that may arise from communicable diseases and other disorders within its institutional environment.??

This was revealed today by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Diane Campbell, as she delivered remarks, on behalf of Health Minister, Donville Inniss, at a workshop entitled: "Introduction to Institutional Hygiene for Long Term Care Facilities", at the Ministry.

Outlining the importance of the training to these workers, Ms. Campbell, said: "It should be noted that our long-term care institutions cater primarily to an aged population, which is one of the most vulnerable groups in society. This vulnerability arises because of the frequently compromised immune system of the elderly, thereby elevating their risk of contracting diseases.

"Accordingly, it is necessary to ensure that personnel attached to our residential institutions are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills related to infection control and institutional hygiene practices."????

She defined hygiene as "the maintenance of health and healthy living through cleanliness for the prevention of infectious diseases" and explained it ranged from "personal to institutional hygiene and public health".??

And, she added, "Continuous training is one of the strategies utilised by the Ministry of Health in an effort to inform, educate and empower workers in specific health related areas. This is an approach which is not new to the Environmental Health Department since this Institutional Hygiene Training Course is one in a series of which has been developed by the Environmental Health Department in partnership with the Barbados Community College and the Pan American Health Organization."

Among the subject areas to be addressed over the next few days are Concept and Principles of Institutional Hygiene, Indoor Air Quality, Waste Management, Infection Control, Cleaning and Disinfecting, Occupational Health and Safety, Emergency Management, Vector Control and Legislative Framework.

The 18-hour training programme in Institutional Hygiene is accredited and certified by the Barbados Community College. To date, 75 persons have completed the course, including personnel from other government departments.

The four-day workshop targets members of the nursing, dietary, laundry and housekeeping sections of the Geriatric Hospital, the St. Philip, St. Lucy and Gordon Cummins District Hospitals, as well as the Elayne Scantlebury Centre.

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