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Saint Lucia strengthens public health surveillance systems

By Fernelle Neptune, Ministry of Health

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(PRESS RELEASE) — The Department of Health and Wellness continues to strengthen its public health surveillance systems through capacity-building training programs for workers at the ports and airports.

A recent port health surveillance training program aimed to build the capacity of participants to detect, assess, and respond to any health threats at the various ports of entry in Saint Lucia.

Senior Environmental Health Officer for Port Health, Karen Joseph, said the training serves to enhance the knowledge and skills of workers at the ports and airports.

“Some of the areas that were broadly looked at were international health regulations, which of course govern so many aspects of port health surveillance. We also looked at disease surveillance and dealing with public health emergencies at your ports of entry. We have an upcoming cruise ship season so we wanted to make sure that everyone is prepared so that they can fulfill their functions effectively.”

Ms. Joseph said she is pleased with the training as it is expected to increase staff competency in ways to limit public health risks.

“The workshop will furnish participants with health security processes at the ports of entry. Overall it will strengthen our borders and improve safety at our ports of entry.”

The participants of the workshop included representatives from the Department of Immigration, Customs and Excise, SLASPA, the Saint Lucia Fire Service, marine police and other shipping agencies.

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