Ministry of Health inaugurates new training for Epidemiologists

Even while COLA supporters were calling for their heads across town, representatives of the Ministry of Health and partners Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CPHA) were meeting to inaugurate a new cohort of training for epidemiologists to catch bugs like the deadly Enterobacter cloacae which invaded KHMH. CEO in the Ministry Dr. Peter Allen tells us more.

Dr. Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:
vlcsnap-2013-06-06-20h34m46s197This really goes a long way to helping us to control outbreaks of disease in the field and especially as you know, this time of year, we have outbreaks like gastroenteritis; other times, we might have outbreaks of pink-eye, conjunctivitis. It is important for us to understand why those occur, how precisely they have started, so that we can make sure we implement interventions which rapidly controls and stops the spread of those outbreaks of disease. So this training is ongoing, building the capacity in our people in these critical areas, to help us continue to improve the systems and the access to quality health care services that we provide through the Ministry.

According to Dr. Allen, the Ministry has tried to have not only its own people but other medical professionals caught up in training for this increasingly important field of health.

Dr. Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:
Belize has been both proactive and rather fortunate in this regard in that we have since 2009, been training our people in Field-Epidemiology. So in 2009, we were able to win grant funding from the Center for Disease Control for the Central American branch and we trained think sixteen students. Subsequently, the following year, because that has been such a success, we were able to win more funding from CDC and the World Bank, to conduct training for another cohort, mostly health inspectors, public health nurses and physicians and laboratory technicians. This last year, just May, in fact, we had won further funding from the Naval Research Unit and we conducted more training, including some of the BDF military medical team. So we have trained a total of thirty one in basic Field Epidemiology training

KHMH CEO Dr. Gary Longsworth and Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts were among those present at today’s event at the Radisson Hotel.

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