Sunday 23 February, 2020

Public health officials inspect 17K flood-affected premises

Public Health Inspectors have conducted site visits and assessments at 17,449 premises in the flood-affected communities throughout Trinidad.

A total of 21 schools and 550 food premises were impacted, and 17 farms lost animals due to the recent flooding.

Public Health Inspectors have been in the field visiting areas affected by flooding to ensure health and safety practices are followed, through surveillance and mass health education interventions.

The Health Ministry said focus is being directed towards the prevention of outbreaks of communicable diseases in these communities.

As part of their health surveillance activities, inspectors are visiting food premises to ensure that contaminated foods are not offered for sale to the public and are disposed of in a manner that prevents its reentry into the market.

Moreover, food preparation and processing facilities are being closely monitored to ensure that contaminated raw materials are not being used in their operations.

Inspectors are also liaising closely with farmers, market vendors and members of households in the communities where flooding has occurred to ensure that they follow the appropriate protocols in evaluating the safety of the crops and, where necessary, in the disposal of affected crops.

The Ministry advised that green, leafy vegetable crops are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of flood waters.

Overflowing privies such as septic tank systems and pit latrines, as well as the carcasses of large animals, pose a significant health risk when flooding occurs as they can contaminate flood waters, which in turn contaminate potable water supplies and vegetable crops, the Ministry added.

Once identified, Inspectors liaise with the relevant authorities to rectify the problem in as short a time frame as possible.

The Ministry’s said its efforts are key in preventing the development of potential long-term adverse effects due to the recent flooding.


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