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Joining hands for health

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Material Information

Title:
Joining hands for health Caring and sharing
Abbreviated Title:
Joining hands for health
Physical Description:
v. ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Ministry of Health ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Ministry of Health
Place of Publication:
Nassau, Bahamas
Publication Date:
Frequency:
semiannual
completely irregular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Health care. -- Bahamas   ( lcsh )
Public health -- Bahamas
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Temporal Coverage:
1983 - 1988
Spatial Coverage:
Caribbean Area

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
Ministry of Health

Record Information

Source Institution:
College of The Bahamas
Holding Location:
College of The Bahamas
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier:
Classification:
System ID:
AA00013240:00002


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Full Text

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NATIONAL HEALTH EDUCATION COUNCIL (BAHAMAS) The National Health Education Council (Bahamas), is a body of persons joining hands to en'courage and invite sharing and caring in order to promote a healthier Bahamas, through the medium of education. It recognises the profoun
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MESSAGE FROM PRINCIPAL NURSING OFFICER The publication of Joining Hands for Health is a major step forward in promoting health in The Bahamas. It seeks to promote a new commitment to positive health and an awareness of the need for preventing those conditions which damage the health of individuals in the community. A great deal of ill-health is self-inflicted: smoking, substance abuse, reckless driving, disregard for safety precautions at home and at work, neglect of regular health "Checkups'', lack of exercise and so on. Much ill-health is avoidable but will not be effectively prevented until individuals recognize what they are doing and take action to protect themselves. Can we stop the harm resulting from our life styles without threatening people's legitimate pleasures? The health profession recognizes that we must not be too ready to interfere 'with the individual's exercise of his own responsibility and duty. Most of us would like to think that health education would suffice without further resort to legal control of the community's action. But unfortunately, this is not the case in terms of drugs and traffic offences. So preservation of health is "every body's business" and an informative publication such as Joining Hands for Health will set out the facts and invite public discussion and recommendations for a more healthy and constructive life style for Bahamians. Let us pool our efforts to convince society that health problems do exist, and to propose a change in attitudes which is desirable and the kind of preventive measure which are appropriate. EDITORIAL "How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven." Evelin M. Prescod Community Nursing Service The publication of the first issue of Joining Hands for Health, coincides with a most significant time of the Christian year, the time when God gave mankind the gift of his son. Christmas is a time for caring and sharing the theme of this issue, a time for family, hope, peace, goodwill, and joyful celebration. Unfortunately, joyful celebration, is often marred by tragic accidents shattering our peace and turning our hope into despair. Taking a little extra care, whether it be at home, on the road, or at the work place can ensure that our joy and peace continue. Extending a helping hand, showing goodwill to our including the stranger in our community in our festivities\ show clearly our appreciation to God for his most wonderful gift, and is in keeping with the theme of Christmas and with our "Newsletter." The Health Education Division is attempting to express these sentiments in a very real way, through this publication, and invites readers to reciprocate by sharing thoughts, comments, concerns, joyful moments, and funny moments with us. Joining Hands for Health will be published quarterly. The name is most appropriate, since it is only through partnership, and active involvement of everyone that we can hope to achieve the national and global goal of Health For All by the Year 2000 (HFA/2000). As we reflect on and marvel about the miracle of that first Christmas, we hope that you will JOIN with us and make not only this "newsletter" a "success" but also the goal HFA/2000 a reality. "Oh hush the noise ye men of strife And hear the angels sing." THANK YOU The Health Education Division of the Ministry of Health is extremely grateful to the National Health Education Council (Bahamas) for its ready and gracious support in providing funds for the publication of this the first issue of JOINING HANDS FOR HEALTH. The 'Council.' is a not for profit umbrella organisation of agencies involved in or with a potential for, health education in The Bahamas. Some objectives are: 2

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i) to co-ordinate the health education efforts of voluntary groups and where possible reduce dupli cation of effort. ii) to ensure that as far as possible the health education goals of The Bahamas are met. iii) to work closely with government in implementing health education programmes and actively encourage Community Participation. The Division takes this opportunity to extend best wishes to the Council for a safe and successful year ahead and to encourage and invite all those agencies with an interest in health education to become actively involved with the affairs of the Council. 'Further information may be obtained from Louise Simms (President) c/o P.O. Box N-972 Bishop Harcourt Pinder (Treasurer) Tel. (809) 3 23 2710 or P. 0. Box N-972 OR contacting the Health Education Division c/o P. 0. Box N-3729, or Tel. (809) 322-4908 TAKING CARE OF GRAMMY AT CHRISTMAS Celeste Deveaux-Lockhart, Community Nurse Do you know how Greg and Grace along with their children Gretchen and Graham plan to make Grarnmy's Christmas a safe and happy one? Let me whisper.their few simple plans to you Are you ready? 1. plans to re-arrange the furniture and ensure that the floor i.s not over-polished. Why? She cannot allow Grammy to slip and break her leg. 2. She further plans to replace the old rugs. Why? Grammy must not be slippin' and slidin' all over the place. 3. Greg is going to ensure that all extension cords used are stored away promptly after use. Why? If Grammy's leg get catch up in one oops!! accident! They cannot afford this catastrophe. 4. Gretchen and Graham are going to ensure that all their toys are put away before bed-time. Why? They know that if they don't pick up, Grammy might trip up. What about your Grammy, are you making similar plans? Try it, she'll like it .... will like it. Excerpt from: Accidental Injury Control HEALIBY PEOPLE Surgeon General's Report On Health Promotion and Disease Prevention DHEW (PHS) Publication No. 79-55071 More than 100,000 Americans lost their lives to accidental injuries in 1977 nearly half of them from motor vehicle accidents, the rest from falls, bums, poisonings and other causes. In 1977, too, '65 million people suffered non-fatal accidental injuries, requiring medical treatment and in terms of damage, injury and lost productivity, the estimated cost of accidents in 1977 was $62 billion. The leading cause of death between ages one and 44, accidents account for roughly 50 percent of 3

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fatalities for those 15 to 24. But the highest death rate for accidents occurs among the elderly whose risk of fatal injury is nearly double that of adolescents and young adults. Teenagers and young adults -the 15 to 24 year olds have the highest motor vehicle death rate of any group, accounting for one-third of all motor vehicle deaths. The greatest risk factor for fatal accidents is driver alcohol use. In about 50 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes, blood alcohol levels have been found to be excessive. Combined lap and shoulder belts can almost halve the likelihood of serious injury or death, and although all passenger vehicles sold in the United States are equipped with seat belts, fewer than 20 percent of drivers use them. If no child died in an automobile accident, the death rate for children could be reduced by fully one-fifth. Now, about 1,000 youngsters under age five die, and more than 50,000 suffer serious injury each year. Second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatal injury, firearms in 1977 claimed some 3 2,000 lives. About 13,000 deaths were homicides; 2,000 resulted from firearm accidents. Estimates of non-fatal firearm injuries -many of them permanently disabling range from 18,000 to more than 100,000. Evidence from England suggests that prohibiting possession of handguns would reduce the number of deaths and injuries, particularly those unrelated to criminal assaults. For those who feel compelled to keep handguns, certain safety measures can be useful -security locks, use of non-lethal (wax) bullets, and weapon storage in a location separate from ammunition and inaccessible to children. FALLS 15,000 Americans are killed and about 14 million are injured each year by falls. Fat al falls occur primarily in the home but are also a prominent cause of work-injury deaths, especial ly among construction workers. People over age 75 account for about 60 percent of the deaths resulting from falls and an even greater proportion of the hospital days and disability. Preventing such deaths and injuries requires preventing the falls themselves by attention to safer walking surfaces and footgear, better illumination, handrails, and window guards -or reducing the potential for injury by minimizing the distances people fall (lower beds for the elderly) or modifying the surfaces they fall against (softer floors, rounded edges and corners on furniture). BURNS Each year more than a million Americans are burned, 60,000 severely enough to require hospitaliza tion. About 5,000 deaths result from fires -predominantly house fires -and an additional 2,500 are from other burns such as electrical and scalds. Fifty-six percent of fatal residential fires -and a substantial number of bum injuries are cigarette related, often due to smoking in bed. 1Even in the non-fatal incidents, the consequences are often tragic: painful recovery, disfigurement, and disability. Many deaths and injuries from residential fires could be prevented through a number of measures: effective fire or smoke detection systems; less flammable furnishings and structural materials; buildings designed for ease of escape; developing and practicing fire evacuation procedures; and less smoking. Scalds, which cause about 40 percent of hospital admissions for bums, often occur in showers and bathtubs. They could be prevented if water heaters in homes, nursing homes, dormitories, and hotels were modified with automated cut-offs so water temperatures remain below those likely to scald. POISONING Once a leading cause of death for young children, poisoning has decreased significantly as house hold products have been packaged in childproof containers. Still, some two million ingestions of potentially dangerous substances by American children come to the attention of health professionals every year. Poison Control Centres, now active in a number of localities, provide immediate information on poison antidotes and other emergency measures. Helpful precautionary measures include storing toxic 4

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substances separately from food supplies, ensuring that safety caps are fastened, and refraining from intro ducing medicine to children as "candy." PRODUCT-RELATED ACCIDENTS A broad range of consumer products used at home or in the workplace can cause injury, either because of faulty construction or inappropriate and careless use. In 1976, product-related accidents caused about 30,000 deaths and 37 million injuries. Among the leading causes of injuries were glass, bicycles, skateboards, nails, knives, playground equipment, furniture, and construction and flooring materials. Because unsafe toys, electrical devices, and home swimming pools injure many children, toys with sharp edges or small and swallowable parts should be discarded, electrical outlets should be covered, and swimming pools fenced. Increased protection for children requires better surveillance of injuries, teaching safe behaviour and providing barriers that separate children from as many hazards as possible. RECREATIONAL ACCIDENTS The population at risk for recreational accidents has grown steadily as the amount of leisure time available has increased. Disabling injuries in that year numbered some 2, 700,000 and about 100,000 sports team injuries were serious enough to require medical attention. Some 7,000 drownings also occur each year, mostly during water sports such as swimming and boating. Safety measures can help. Children can be taught to float and swim at an early age and should learn water safety measures. Adults can avoid water sports when intoxicated (in almost one-third of adult drown ings, there are high blood levels of alcohol). Young people participating in team sports can be taught safety measures and ways to prevent injuries as part of their training. Modification of surroundings can help in some cases. Much can be done to prevent unnecessary injuries annually suffered. SOCIAL WELFARE SCHEME FAMILY ISLANDS Leila Greene: Department of Social Services During the year 1982, in order to respond to the needs of disadvantaged persons in the Family Islands, funds were supplied to each Commissioner; thus allowing decisions to be made locally, and assis tance made available quickly without the delay of having to refer to Nassau Social Services office. The Public Assistance Welfare Scheme in the Family Islands, was implemented under the direction of an Advisory Committee on Public Assistance, appointed by the Minister of Housing and National In surance, and selected from the local Board of Works. The Committee is chaired by the Commissioner. The following public assistance programmes have been extended to the Family Islands. A. FOOD ALLOWANCES B. GENERAL ASSISTANCE Programmes under this title include: I. General assistance for clothing, household and personal items, funeral benefits, travel allowances and health aid. I lousing Rqx1ir Allowance. J. Fire and Disaster Relief Allowance. In 1983 the DepartnH.'nt of Social Services opened local offices in the major family islands. These oflkl'S arl' lm:akd as follows: 5

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a. Cooper's Town, Abaco b. Nicholl's Town, Andros c. Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera d. George Town, Exuma STAFF Welfare Officers stationed in the family islands are as follows: Lorraine Johnson Abaco Elizabeth Diggiss Andros Kim Sawyer Eleuthera Agnes Smith Exuma Where no officer is available, the Commissioner could designate a clerk in his office to be responsible for interviews and home investigations. In some districts, a clerk from the local National Insurance office may be named. OFFICERS' RESPONSIBILITIES 1. To carry out the casework services of Public Assistance, Family Services and Child Welfare. 2. To carry out the field work required and submit completed application forms with recom mendations to the Commissioner and the Advisory Committees for approval. 3. To provide social work to the various agencies, e.g., Bahamas Red Cross, School Welfare, Health, and other organizations and the community at large. 4. To work in collaboration with the Commissioners on Public Assistance, Family Counselling and Child Welfare Matters. 5. Provide supervision for Case-aids. 6. Communicate with the Assistant Director responsible for Supervision as necessary, or when problems arise. 7. Observe principles of confidentiality not only in dealing with matters relating to Clients, but also in discussing the programmes with other persons. FOCUS ON THE SHORE Barbara Curtis Here we are, Health Educators, standing on the shore of the rough sea. We hear a cry for help, so we jump into the sea, reach out, rescue and apply artificial respiration. Sometimes, even before breathing recommences, there is another cry for help, so, back into the sea we jump, reaching, pulling, applying breathing techniques and, another yell. Again and again without end goes the sequence. What is the cause of this never ending sequence? Health problems, diseases, accidents and other factors. So we look further out to sea, at ways of helping people to avoid or resist the tide of ill-health. Can they be helped to stay out of the "rip tide"? Can they be taught how to swim, or float until help arrives if they are swept out to sea? Can they be taught how to organize and so help each other to shore? Can they together, and with our help, avoid being caught in the "water spout?" These questions of primary prevention, life styles, appropriate utilization of services, and self care must be addressed if consumers are to reach shore safely. Firstly, caretakers need to recognise that costs are greater if the individual has to be pulled out of the sea or drowns. They must also recognise, that most individuals are ready and willing to learn new skills and to take responsibility for their own health. That forces influencing health behaviour are varied and complex, and some can be by the individual and some cannot. However, the educational process can offer help in this regard. Education can be effective in helping individuals and caretakers to understand and regulate their 6

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behaviour, as well as influencing other processes that affect health behaviour. Everyone who influences behaviour related to health are "Health Educators". Therefore, health professionals play a significant role in influencing health behaviour. Secondly, we need to launch a boat to "police" the waters. Rowing together as a team, is our main hope for prevention; as prevention is, after all, the tug boat of the Health Care System. For as long as health care for the drowning victims consist only of artificial respiration, people cannot be expected to seek care except when they are drowning (ill). If preventive care can be made more accessible, more continuous, and more comprehensive, then health care will at least be on the shore where it can be of more help to individuals. Thirdly, we need to set up guard-houses with life guards. There are innumerable opportunities for early rescue, and thereby reduce the cries coming from the sea. On shore resources have greatest potential in health promotion and prevention. Furthermore, Health Education is now committed to health pro motion, with emphasis on people's involvement. In conclusion, we need to encourage individuals to want to stay on shore, guide them in swimming for help if needed, and show them how to organize so that they can help others stay on the shore. ACCIDENTS AND CHILDREN CAN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES PREVENT THEM? F. Mahmood Public Health Department In this article, designed to be provocative, an endeavour has been made to find out whether educa tional programmes can bring about desired changes in behaviour in children with regard to accidents. We all know that children are prone to accidents, and that this is due to their immaturity. Some people even see children as handicapped individuals in an adult world, especially in respect to road traffic accidents. If we look at certain developmental factors, then the child's behaviour may be related to accidents. In sensory fields their limits are obvious. Until the age of nine (9), children have difficulty in going rapidly from seeing at a distance to close sight. This means that they usually use their peripheral vision. Similarily, auditory perception is less effective in children than in adults. Before the age of ten (10), they are unable to co-ordinate what they see with what they hear. They also interpret distances poorly. In the same way, they are limited in various fields of psycho motor development. They may concentrate on following a ball and forget the surrounding world. They may look before crossing the road, but if someone hails from across the street, they are unable to adjust and will cross without looking. Specific studies made in several countries show that educational attempts have been disappointing. Why is this so? It is clear that children are not capable of understanding and evaluating risk factors, even when they have been taught the notion of danger. How they react in the face of danger is unpredictable. But there are certain factors which increase the risk of accidents. These include age, knowledge of space, emotional life and relations with others. At ages 4 and 5, children do not know how to avoid danger. At ages 6 and 7, they run across the street without looking. Imagine a child under the age of ten (10) trying to cross a busy road, traffic constantly moving. The child will easily get upset and display his/her innate behaviour which is unpredictable. Adolescence is an age of agressive defiance, a chance to show off. There is a total rejection of what was learned earlier. How often do we hear that a particular child or family is prone to accidents? Defective health conditions e.g., lack of sleep, malnutrition, use of dtugs, family dysfunction, divorce, or even a trip, can all contribute to accidents. They all affect behaviour in one way or another. Accidents have been compared to infectious diseases. There is an interaction between Agent Host Environment. It is deducible therefore, that four major factors come into play in the occurence of accidents, viz:-1. Child's Behaviour 1 Education 3. Environment 4. Surveillance By Parents 7

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The family is-responsible for protecting its children. Should the family educate the child on accidents, or has this role been taken over by the Schools? Who is to assume the responsibility for surveillance of the child and his behaviour within the environ ment? Even if all the risk factors were to be eliminated the child will still be exposed to accidents. Is this because the child's behaviour is irrational or unpredictable? Or, is it that the adult's reaction is reflected in the child's reaction? Do we have enough data on which to base our findings on the causes and effects of accidents? These questions can only be answered by epidemiological studies of accidents. On the basis of such findings, meaningful preventive programmes can then be undertaken. U-P D-A-T-E Felicity Aymer HEALTH EDUCATION DIVISION Over the year, the Health Education Division has had an emormous growth spurt. From a staff of two (2) in January 1983, we are, in December, a staff of six (6). Three Health Educators, one trainee Health Educator, one Clerk Typist, and one Statistical Clerk. The Division is very much the typical Carribbean Family. Six persons are expected to occupy the same space formerly occupied by two! WELCOME!! Miss Anntoinette Hutchinson Clerk Typist; who joined us in February. Miss Hutchinson came when we were absolutely overloaded with work. I think it would be appropriate to say she has "slaved" along with us most admirably since then. Miss Hutchinson is young and vei:y attractive. Despite her youth, she has displayed a remarkable level of professionalism towards her job. Keep up the good work Anntoinette, we are most appreciative! Miss Mitsouko Newry Statistical Clerk. Miss Newry was sent to us from the Health Information Unit, to help in collating results of an Immunisation Survey recently undertaken by the Public Health Department. Miss Newry is also attractive, young and energetic. She is a willing worker and enjoys workiM with figures. Miss Ch-:ryl Thompson Trainee Health Education Officer. Miss Thompson is young, vivacious and attractive. She has a Bachelor's degree in Community Health and will be involved in developing health educational programnes in institutions in New Providence. She was formerly employed at the National Insurance Board. Welcome aboard Cheryl! We hope the waves which we constantly encounter are never big enough to wash you overboard. Welcome back Mrs. Curtis Barbara has recently completed a course of study at the University of Massachusetts, and although as ebullient as ever, her ebulliance is now tempered with a more philosophi cal approach. We hope Barbara, that you too manage to stay aboard.successflly. STUDY /WORKSHOP Mrs. Christinl' Fisk, a Nurse with District Nursing Service for a number of years, has gone off to the United Kingdom on one year's study leave. She will be pursuing a course in Psychotherapy and Counselling. We wish Mrs. Fisk God's speed and best wishes in her studies. We are certain that both she and the service will hl'mlit enormously. Good luck Christine! We look forward to seeing you at the end of next sum1oer. Mrs. Brenda Simms. Nursing Officer I, in the Community Nursing Service, attended a workshop in Barbados 24-28 October. 1983. Thl' purpose of the workshop, sponsored byPAHO/WHO,wasto revise the regional strategy for Maternal and Child Health. We look forward to hearing more about tHis workshop from Brenda. Mr. Anthony Roberts. Acting Chief Health Inspector, Department of Environm_ental Health Services 8

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(DEHS), attended a seminar on Food Safety and Control 7-11 November, 1983. The seminar was under the joint sponsorship of the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), Pan American Health Organisa tion (P AHO), and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (F AO), and was hosted by the Ministry of Health, Antigua. It was designed to develop a regional policy for food handling and food safety and brought to gether participants from both the public and private sectors. This is an area of particular interest and con cern to us in the Public Health Department. We hope to hear more from Anthony in a later issue. Mr. Roscoe Ferguson, Health Inspector (DEHS), recently returned from a five (5) month course in meat and food inspection. This course is offered regularly by the West Indies School of Public Health in Jamaica. Mr. Sandin Smith, DEHS, recently attended a two (2) week course in Rodent Control in Trinidad. Rodents -Beware!! Mrs. Fredrica Sands, Nursing Officerll, Community Nursing Service, is off to Trinidad on an EPI (Ex panded Programme of Immunisation) update. A workshop on 'Care of the Aged' was held 24-28 October, 1983 at the Anglican Central Deanery. Participants included Health Workers from New Providence and the Family Islands. Among resource persons were Health professionals, Social Workers, Police and Fire Officers, and Ministers of Religion. The Workshop was the product of the Ministry of Health and the Nursing Council of The Bahamas. Good luck to the Community Nursing Students who have recently taken final exams. Can the service anticipate an increase in staff? CHANGE AND ??? Nurse Charlene Smith was recently transferred to Deadman's Cay, Long Island from the School Health Service. We are sure the health of the Community at Deadman's Cay will be all the better for Charlene's arrival. Best wishes Nurse Smith. Mr. Ethan Bain, Acting Deputy Director of Environmental Health Services, resigned recently after many years of service in the Department. Those of us who worked closely with Ethan, miss his cooperation, ready smile and seeming inability to get ruffled. We wish Ethan every success in his new field of endeavour. It was with mixed feelings that we joined the staff in the Department of Social Services, in saying goodbye to Mrs. Juanita Edgecombe, who had been the Deputy Director for many years. We in Health Education are especially close to that Department and Mrs. Edgecombe, as reflected in our working re lationship. We know the Department and all who worked with her, miss her calm, unobstrusive dependa bility. We wish her every success in the highly competitive field which she has now entered. Good Luck Juanita! Congratulations!! Mrs. Lorraine Clarke, who has been promoted to the post of Chief Welfare Officer in the Department of Social Services with effect from October 1982. Mrs. Clarke has been a "founding" member of the Department and richly deserves this recognition. Consequently, Christmas for her should be considerably merrier. We wish her all the best and know she will do well at this level. A safe and happy Christmas Lorraine! FUND RAISING On Saturday 29 October, 1983, the Community Nurses Oub held a Pull a-Bed-athon from the Eastern Parade to the Western Esplanade. Proceeds from this effort will go towards procuring Health Education materials for the clinics. ENTERTAINMENT Till' fund raising committee of the Princess Margaret Hospital, chaired by Dr. Bernard Nottage, will be having a staff get-together in the form of a Banquet at the Ambassador Beach Hotel, on Saturday 17 December. 1983. There will be a variety of attractions. Tickets are $20.00 each, and are available from the Business Office at the Hospital. Please note: This is a Social rather than a Fund-Raising event. Tlw Annual Christmas party will be held on Thursday 22 December, 1983, at the home of Mr. Harold Munnings (Permanent Secretary) in Dannotage Estates, beginning at 8 p.m. This is the one time of the year when Wl' have the opportunity to meet as "a family." See you there! 9

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WEDDING BELLS Rang out for: Mr. Elvis McPhee, Health Assistant, DEHS. Congratulations! We hope the McPhees enjoy their first Christmas together, and wish them many years of happiness. Together may you "climb every mountain". Nurse Inez Spence, formerly Nurse-in-Charge at Bimini and more recently at Mayaguana. Congratu lations and best wishes to the couple, as they enjoy not only their first Christmas together, but also as they meet the myriad challenges of married life. Mr. Terrance Godet, Health Assistant, DEHS. Congratulations! We wis11 the Godets a merry Christmas and many years of happiness. It is our sincere hope that together they will "climb mountain". NEW ARRIVALS Congratulations to Nurse Kathleen Johnson, formerly stationed at Deadmans Cay, Long Island and more recently at the Ann's Town Clinic, New Providence, and Mr. Johnson, on the birth of their third son. We hope this will be an especially happy Christmas for the Johnson family with the addition of "their little bundle of joy". May you have few, if any, sleepless nights! DEATHS The Nursing Community mourns the loss of a colleague. Nurse Arabella Roker, Senior "Veteran" Nurse in the Eye Wing of the Princess Margaret Hospital died in late October. We offer condolences to her relatives and friends. PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN: TRAVEL SAFELY Rudolph Burgzorg A car is a very convenient way of travelling, but could become a death trap in the hands of a careless driver. Unintentionally, the driver of the vehicle shown in the picture is exposing two innocent children to the risk of serious injury or even violent death. A crash at only 20 miles per hour will cause both children, if they are 25 lbs in weight, to become missiles that will strike the vehicle's windshield with a force of 500 lbs. With a small measure of care such shocking experiences could be avoided. Many tragic deaths involving infants and children in vehicles could be avoided if only parents became more aware of the need to secure their precious children in Child Restraint Seats or seat belts. The Bahamas Automobile Club (BAC) feels that there is an urgent need for on going informational and educational pro grammes. and for stricter observance of traffic regulations if we are to avoid committing more of our loved ones to wheel chairs for the rest of their lives. To assist concerned motorists, the BAC is taking the initiative to introduce, with the cooperation of both private and public hospitals in the Bahamas, a programme called K-I-S-S (Kids in Safe Seats). This programme is designed for expectant mothers and new parents. In the meantime, the following guidelines should assist concerned parents in their selection of restraint seats: 10

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2. Always keep band aids, bandages, antiseptics, sprain straps, thermometers and other basic first aid needs in your home. 3. Be sure that your medicine cabinet is well stocked with "fever breakers," simple cough and cold medi cines and a year's supply of birth control devices, if you use them. 4. Do not keep poisonous substances in the home or anywhere unlocked. 5. Arrange for CPR and first aid training before you go to the Island, or through a community or civic group while in residence. 6. Be sure that any person on a prescribed medicine has an auxillary supply in the event it is lost, broken or otherwise rendered unusable. 7. Acquaint your Family Island doctors and nurses with your family's medical history, and keep notes of all treatment and visits on the Family Island and in Nassau. Be sure both doctors know what has been prescribed and the treatment presently being received. 8. Try to use one clinic regularly and only use another in emergencies. Become acquainted with the medi cal staff and help them where possible. Keep informed of their travel plans. 9. Try not to antagonise the doctor only one of him and you never know when something gonna go wrong. 10. Always remember to keep your wits! Keep smiling and remember, health care is only the doctor away when you are on a I:amily Island. 12

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Deveaux Thompson The Division's Staff wishes You And Yours A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND HEALIBY, 1 9 8 4 ! Curtis A "BRIEF" REVIEW OF HEAL m EDUCATION SERVICES IN THE BAHAMAS Audrey Marie Deveaux Newry Hello, I hope you will enjoy this very first issue of "our" Newsletter! It is not mere chance that the Newsletter's first publication coincides with the most optimistic time of the Christian year. Christmas is a time or' hope, of positive thinking, of looking ahead and planning for the future; and that is what we are feeling and doing in Health Education. We are optimistic; we are hopeful; and we are full of positive thoughts about reaching some of our planned goals in 1984. Producing a quality, quarterly Newsletter is one of these goals. With your help, and support we can make this publication a success -so please JOIN HANDS with us and make it happen. While Christmas is a time of hope, it is also a time of reflection; of looking back at what was and of evaluating past efforts. That in essence is what I will now attempt to do invite you to journey back with me, while I take a quick, brief, critical look back at Health Education Services in The Bahamas. While this 13

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trip backwards will not be as memorable as Mr. Scrooge's, I hope that, like the Newsletter it will: "inform, educate and entertain" most if not all who read it. THE YEARS 1971 1977 CONCEPTION AND PREGNANCY It seems almost impossible that 1971 was twelve years ago! Now I can appreciate what is meant by the oft spoken term "short" years. Health Education, as an identified Service area of the Ministry of Health, began in the summer of 1971, with the appointment of one Officer, to develop programmes focus ing on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. A second Officer was appointed in the summer of 1973, to develop more general programmes. Both of these Officers were recruited from the Nursing discipline. SCHOOL HEALTH EDUCATION Early service focus for the Health Education Division, was primarily on actual school room teaching, in the Ministry of Education's schools in New Providence. One Officer was responsible for developing and teaching programmes in Family Life and Drug Abuse education in High Schools. The other concentrated on developing and teaching General Health and Hygiene programmes for primary schools. Both Officers taught on average, six classes daily; covering approximately three schools in both Divisions each term. The work was extremely hard (dashing from school to school, laden down with projector(s), films, transparencies, posters), and the returns negligible. For example, while the appearance of the "Health teacher," "drug teacher," "sex teacher," (depending on the school and the topic}, was egerly awaited by both students and teachers, the two groups had different reasons for this. For the Students, it meant a chance to "rap" about something they found interesting, see a movie, and not have to study for a test. While for the teacher it often meant a free double period. Repeated attempts to "train the trainers" via the then Teacher's Training College in 1974 and again in 197 5 were not very successful. Most surprisingly ( ! ) the staff's perception of the value of Health Educa tion as a programme area, and of the importance of including it as an integral component of teacher train ing was such that frequently Officers and resource persons arrived at the College, as per schedule, only to find the students busy with other projects, or classes rescheduled. Providing School Health Education in the early years required so much "biting of the bullet," it is remarkable that the Officers still have any of their own teeth left! COMMUNITY HEALTH EDUCATION While the major focus of. the Divisions' early work was in the schools, some Community Health pro motion projects were also being undertaken. These included a month long "Alcohol and Drunken Driving" campaign from Sunday October 21st to Saturday November 17th. We have all probably talked about "short year(s)," and on the eve of the closing of 1983, many of us will probably reflect on how short a year this has been; but I trust none of you have ever had to live through a "long month." Coordinating the various components of the campaign speakers at all the various service clubs, high schools, radio programmes, (thank God there was not as yet any TV-13!); mobile display van at all the high schools; twice weekly newspaper articles; daily news feature on Radio Bahamas; open air Public meetings made the ending of 1973 exquisite torture for the staff of the Public Health Department, especially the Health Educators. While evaluation of the campaign did not conclusively show that we had achieved our stated ob jectives, it definitively underscored the fact that a month is too long a time to mount a sustained public education programme! In 1974 the Public Health Department, through its Health Education Division, launched the very first National Health Week, October 20-26. This very ambitions venture whose theme was: "Family Needs For a Healthy Bahamas;" was the first to use a multisectoral and multidisciplinary team approach. It was the foreninner of the now popular "Week" being staged by other Ministries, and community groups, to focus public attention on a specific area. All government Ministries were represented on the Planning Committee as well as the Bahamas 14

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Christian Council, Chamber of Commerce, Dental, Medical, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Associations, Nassau Public Libraries, Red Cross and Youth organisations. Among activities held over the week were a symposium addressing the issue of:;"All Aspects of the Adolescent In Relation to the Family and Community;" newspaper articles; and Radio presentations focusing on different aspects of positive Family living. The support both from the general public and from professional groups and individuals was tremendous. Two years later, in 1976, the second National Health Week was held during the week of October 1220. The theme being: "Healthy Children Today, Stronger Nation Tomorrow:" Again, a variety of activities were used by the multisectoral, multidisciplinary team to achieve the identified objectives. Among these were the "toy-making project" by New Providence school children, a symposium whose theme was: "Their Health In Our Hands;" a supplement sponsored in the Nassau Guardian; and a number of radio presentations. A week long exhibition was staged at the Auditorium of Jumbey Village. The event was widely supported, both by Government Ministries, Civic and business organisations, as well as by the general public. In 1977, the National Health Week Committee sponsored a one day symposium entitled: "Females At Risk." Aside from panel discussions on the then growing issues of rape, molestation, support systems for victims, there was also a session in which participants were taught some basic self defence techniques. This final event, coordinated by the Division through the National Health Week Committee, was also well supported. In addition to these activities, the Officers were also involve.d in other community projects. Both Officers were members of various community groups; e.g., The Bahamas Mental Health Association; the Health and Welfare Committee and the Education Committee of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce; and The Bahamas Council on Alcoholism. One Officer was a founding member of The Bahamas Council for the Handicapped, and The Bahamas Counsellors Association. In early 1973, coordination of the weekly programme, "Hospital Calling," now called the "Ministry of Health's Programme" was delegated to the Division. At that time, the programme's format had been recently changed from an on location interview of primarily Family Island patients to a short presentation by a Health professional, followed by playing of religious music as per patients'requests. Later the pro gramme's emphasis was again changed. Used primarily as a health information tool, invited panellists dis cussed a range of topics and responded to questions posed by the Moderator -a Health Education Officer. THE YEARS 1978 1982 LABOUR These were even more difficult years for the Division. During 1978, and the first five (5) months of 1979, there was only one Officer active in the Division, as the other was away on study leave (University of Massachussetts, at Amherst). This situation was relieved when a third Officer was appointed in May 1979. During 1979 also, PAHO/WHO engaged a short-term consultant to undertake a needs assessment of the Health Education programme. This was to facilitate development of a "Plan of Work" for PAHO's input in health education during 1979, based on .identified needs. In the summer of 1979, a detailed report, identifying the. needs, goals and objectives, as well as a detailed budget was prepared by the two Officers and forwarded to the Ministry of Health. During the summer and fall of 1979, the'two Officers began the necessary ground work that led, in November 1980, to the formation of the National Health Education Council. This Council, comprising representatives from various voluntary and governmental agencies involved in local health promotion activi ties, will aid in strengthening Community Education efforts. During the first eight (8) months of 1981, the Division again was staffed by one lone Officer, a second Officer having left for study leave, (University of Massachussetts at Amherst). Understandably, during these times it was a case of "holding on." From August of 1981 the Division again had two (2) Officers, one Officer having returned from study leave, after successfully completing the Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Public Health, with a major in Community Health Education. By this time Health Education Service had been a programme area of the Public Health Department (PHD) for nine (9) years. Unfortunately, the absence of a career ladder precluded staff mobility during this period. Needless to say, staff morale was somewhat low. For us the saying: "going 'round and 'round in a circle," was not only a truism, but a living reality, both in terms of career and work patterns. Fortunately, an inherent component of the educational process is its regenerative powers an irrespressible optimism that has survived the test of the most recalcitrant child in the home or classroom, 15

PAGE 17

Christian Council, Chamber of Commerce, Dental, Medical, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Associations, Nassau Public Libraries, Red Cross and Youth organisations. Among activities held over the week were a symposium addressing the issue of:;"All Aspects of the Adolescent In Relation to the Family and Community;" newspaper articles; and Rad_io presentations focusing on different aspects of positive Family living. The support both from the general public and from professional groups and individuals was tremendous. Two years later, in 1976, the second National Health Week was held during the week of October 1220. The theme being: "Healthy Children Today, Stronger Nation Tomorrow:" Again, a variety of activities were used by the multisectoral, multidisciplinary team to achieve the identified objectives. Among these were the "toy-making project" by New Providence school children, a symposium whose theme was: "Their Health In Our Hands;" a supplement sponsored in the Nassau Guardian; and a number of radiO' presentations. A week long exhibition was staged at the Auditorium of Jumbey Village. The event was widely supported, both by Government Ministries, Civic and business organisations, as well as by the general public. In 1977, the National Health Week Committee sponsored a one day symposium entitled: "Females At Risk." Aside from panel discussions on the then growing issues of rape, molestation, support systems for victims, there was also a session in which participants were taught some basic self defence techniques. This final event, coordinated by the Division through the National Health Week Committee, was also well supported. In addition to these activities, the Officers were also involve.ct in other community projects. Both Officers were members of various community groups; e.g., The Bahamas Mental Health Association; the Health and Welfare Committee and the Education Committee of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce; and The Bahamas Council on Alcoholism. One Officer was a founding member of The Bahamas Council for the Handicapped, and The Bahamas Counsellors Association. In early 1973, coordination of the weekly programme, "Hospital Calling," now called the "Ministry of Health's Programme" was delegated to the Division. At that time, the programme's format had been recently changed from an on location interview of primarily Family Island patients to a short presentation by a Health professional, followed by playing of religious music as per patients' requests. Later the pro gramme's emphasis was again changed. Used primarily as a health information tool, invited panellists dis cussed a range of topics and responded to questions posed by the Moderator -a Health Education Officer. THE YEARS 1978 1982 LABOUR These were even more difficult years for the Division. During 197 8, and the first five (5) months of 1979, there was only one Officer active in the Division, as the other was away on study leave (University of Massachussetts, at Amherst). This situation was relieved when a third Officer was appointed in May 1979. During 1979 also, PAHO/WHO engaged a short-term consultant to undertake a needs assessment of the Health Education programme. This was to facilitate development of a "Plan of Work" for PAHO's input in health education during 1979, based on identified needs. In the summer of 1979, a detailed report, identifying the. needs, goals and objectives, as well as a detailed budget was prepared by the two Officers and forwarded to the Ministry of Health. During the summer and fall of 1979, the'two Officers began the necessary ground work that led, in November 1980, to the formation of the National Health Education Council. This Council, comprising representatives from various voluntary and governmental agencies involved in local health promotion activi ties, will aid in strengthening Community Education efforts. During the first eight (8) months of 1981, the Division again was staffed by one lone Officer, a second Officer having left for study leave, (University of Massachussetts at Amherst). Understandably, during these times it was a case of "holding on." From August of 1981 the Division again had two (2) Officers, one Officer having returned from study leave, after successfully completing the Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Public Health, with a major in Community Health Education. By this time Health Education Service had been a programme area of the Public Health Department (PHO) for nine (9) years. Unfortunately, the absence of a career ladder precluded staff mobility during this period. Needless to say, staff morale was somewhat low. For us the saying: "going 'round and 'round in a circle," was not only a truism, but a living reality, both in terms of career and work patterns. Fortunately, an inherent component of the educational process is its regenerative powers an irrespressible optimism that has survived the test of the most recalcitrant child in the home or classroom, 15

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and repeated repressive regimes over the ages. Not being die-hard zealots, our optimism frequently flagged. Would we never be able to "grow" from an ad hoc service delivery pattern? Would we never have an organisational structure that facilitated career mobility for all Officers? Would we never be able to function as effectively and as efficiently as we are able -to in a word "maximise our potential?" As 1981 drew to a close we were beginning to dare to hope that 1982 would be better not only "in The Bahamas," but for us as well. During late 1981, and in the early part of 1982, detailed submissions were prepared by the Division to facilitate delivery of a sustained, coordinated, National Health Education Service. 1982, the tenth year of setvice, heralded the first promotion in the Division. There were now two (2) Health Education Officers, (one still on study leave), and one Senior Health Education Officer. As this Newsletter is not intended to depress our readers at this joyous season, it will only be noted that 1982 did not justify all our hopes. Nonetheless, after ten (10) years, one promotion could be regarded as a signal. Were we finally moving or weren't we? 1982 drew to a close with minimal change. There had been little discussion on the submissions design ed to curtail the ad hoc service delivery. The Senior Health Education Officer had been requested to co ordinate a "Multisectoral Task Force for Promoting Community Participation;" and plans were moving apace to test the efficacy of a drafted model, to mobilise community participation around health/social issues. 1983 OBSTRUCTED LABOUR 1983 has truly been a trying year for the Division. We have grown (mainly in numbers); the second Officer returned to work from study leave in the summer, and a fourth Officer (Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health), was appointed in October, (as a trainee for the first year). Additionally, due to the increased work load occasioned by the work of the "Task Force,'' a retained summer student was assigned to serve as Secretary in the Division. She has been kept extremely busy keeping up with our "out pourings ;" and is indeed a most valued member of our staff. Additionally, a statistical clerk was assigned to the Division in late September, to assist in compiling immunisation data. This information was collected during a recent community-based survey, which was carried out by the Public Health Department, through the Division and the Community Nursing Service (CNS). Our new staff member has been kept very busy manipulating figures which she finds fascinating. We have grown in other ways as well. Over the years the Officers had produced and procured a creditable range of teaching aids, which was made available to Ministry staff on a loan basis. Where were they all staff, projectors, films, posters, leaflets, books, etc., housed? "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe ,, When the Public Health Department moved to its present home in the Clarence A. Bain Building, two (2) offices were assigned to Health Education. At that time they were more than adequate to accom modate the two (2) Officers, and the relatively small amount of teaching aids. Four additional bodies later plus a veritable "smorgasbord" of teaching aids which are impossible to keep tidy or effectively monitor, 'Ve are still housed in the same "pleasant but inadequate space." There is absolutely no room "to spread" in PHD as lack of space is a chronic ailment, that is fast approaching terminal. While the end of '82 dawned with morale being "somewhat low," '83 is closing with it being decidedly and abysmally low. But ... 1984 EXPECTED DATE OF BIRTH Fortunately, this is the universal season of hope, and we in Health Education never learn, and we are beginning, foolishly to dare to hope yet again. 1984 looms just beyond the horizon, it is as bright as a brand new penny! What are your hopes and wishes for 1984? For us in Health Education, we feel that 1984 will bring new and more appropriate accommodations not only for the Division, but for other similarity disadvantaged staff of the Ministry. It will see the implementation of a National (Coordinated) Health Edu cation programme, which will reach the clinics and residents in areas as widely dispersed as Eight Mile Rock in Grand Bahama, and Matthew Town, in Inagua. It will bring the establishment of this newsletter as an important link between the Division and other service areas of the Ministry. Are we being too optimistic in the Division? Maybe; but a wonderful precedent of presenting three gifts was set long ago in Bethlehem. Added to that is the increasing awareness that "the count down" has 16

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indeed begun; the pace, the tempo has to accelerate if those oft spoken words, "HFA/2000',' is to be actualised. We in the community whether this community be Gambier, in west New Providence; or Staniel Cay, in the Exumas know that the onus of realising this goal rests mainly with us. There are only sixteen ( 16) "short" years left. We cannot afford to "waste" even one. We in the Division have identified three major areas of achievement we hope 1984 will bring. I would like to suggest that each of you also identify three. Write them down in your diary. In next Christmas' issue of the Newsletter, (December 1984), the "Update" on Health Education will include, highlights of what was achieved. Additionally, three major areas of achievement will again be identified for the follow ing year. By doing this we can advance steadily, as the clock ticks the remaining fifteen ( 15) years of the century away, moving steadily towards the goal of quality health care for all Bahamians, no matter where they live, work and play in our family of Islands. I wish each of you a "safe and Happy" Christmas, and hope that your three dearest wishes come true in 1984! NOTE: This is an edited version of Miss Deveaux's article. The full text is available to readers on request to the Health Education Division, Ministry of Health. 17

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18 CHRISTMAS! WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? by Hubert Wong While giving a friend a ride to Church Sunday he commented, "Many people are pre paring for Christmas superficially and physically. Do they really know the real meaning of Christmas? People are painting their homes, buying presents etc." Although I enjoy these things, the real meaning of Christmas to me is Jesus Christ being born in order that I may live. Here are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ: His mother, Mary was engaged to Joseph. While she was still a virgin she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her fiance, being a man of stern principles, decided to disperse the engagement quietly, as he didn't want to disgrace her in public. As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream and saw an angel standing beside him. "Joseph, son of David" the angel said, "Don't hesitate to take Mary as your wife. For the Child within her has been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and she will have a son and you shall name Him Jesus-meaning Saviour-, for He will save His people from their sins. This will fulfill God's promise through His prophets." This Jesus was born to save us so we may live eternally in Heaven. If Jesus was not born, we would not have been able to see God. We know some day we are going to die, and after death the Judgement. So let this Christmas be a reminder of what Christmas is all about .. Think of Jesus your Saviour. Let Him live within your heart. Enjoy your gifts, parties or whatever, but remember the REAL MEANING of Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas and may God bless you.

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Help us to make the Newsletter as interesting and informative as possible. Please complete, detach and return this short evaluation form, to the Health Education Division, Public Health Department. Please tick the most appropriate response. 1. How did you find the newsletter? a. very interesting c. somewhat interesting e. did not read. b. interesting d. uninteresting 2. Was there an article that was of particular interest to you? Yes [ ] No [ ] If yes, please give title --------------------3. What changes, if any, would you like to see? _____________________ 4. What topics would you like in future issues? _____________________ 5. Would you like to contribute to this newsletter? Yes [ ] If yes, please give name and address. Name: Address: Thank you for your cooperation! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. No [ ] 19

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20 Health Education Division Public Health Department P. 0. Box N-3729 Nassau, Bahamas

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P ARENTS, GUARDIANS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS LET'S MAKE 1984 THE YEAR WE IMMUNISE AND PROTECT OUR CHILDREN Cove r D esig n b y : THEOPHILUS THOMPSON LESLI E JOHNSON A SHWARD FERGUSON


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