The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) has embarked on a series of interventions in communities across Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth in an effort to reduce or eliminate health issues and other factors impacting the behavioural practices of community members.
The Targeted Community Interventions aim to impact positive bahaviour changes in relation to health and wellness, behavioural practices and environmental health practices. The programme is being implemented in the communities for a year through the SRHA Health Promotion and Education teams.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the initiative in the Georges Valley community in Manchester on Thursday, November 17, SRHA Regional Technical Director, Dr. Michael Coombs said the Authority realizes the importance of interacting face to face with community members.
“We can’t just stay in our hospitals and our clinics but we realize that it is extremely important to come in the communities and meet with you. We have selected some communities that we plan to go into and discuss health. We have lots of health challenges… but as a Ministry and Government we cannot do it alone, it has to involve every single one of us” Dr. Coombs told residents.
Turning to the importance of the cooperation of residents in adopting and practicing healthier behaviours, Dr. Coombs said: “Matters like ZikV and how we respond to mosquitoes have to involve every one of us. We cannot come in to your homes and ensure that you do what you are supposed to do. We need your involvement and you have to take responsibility for these activities in the interest of your health.”
A critical area of focus of the Targeted Community Interventions is the rolling out of the Good Health Begins at Home initiative launched earlier in 2016. A key component of this initiative is the education and empowerment of parents in particular fathers, in light of the established social and public health impact of fatherlessness. Also, the prevention of non-communicable diseases, training of peer educators, demonstrations of condom use and the establishment of condom access points will be an integral aspect of the initiative.
Community interventions have been launched in the Greenvale and Georges Valley communities in Manchester and in the Summerfield community in Clarendon. The second intervention in Clarendon will be held in the Canaan Heights community on Sunday, December 4 at 10:00 a.m. while St. Elizabeth will have their Targeted Community Interventions at a later date.