This sensitization was especially timely as it was gleaned from the BWP review meeting that personnel were still unclear on the implementation of the IHR and the core capacity requirements.
Mr. Colin Browne ably assisted by Mr. Carnel Smith – Chief Environmental Health Officer explained that the UK’s signage of the International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005 document would have automatically bound BVI to implement the IHR, however, the BVI was currently unable to issue the Ship Sanitation Certificate because the legislation did not provide the legislative framework.
During the interactive discussion which included senior personnel from the BVI Health Services Authority, the PS Health, CMO and Administrative staff, the following was noted:-
One of the recommendations was a TCC with a functional command/coordinating centre to acquire first-hand knowledge of the way that these centres operate.
Mr. Carnel Smith, Chief Environmental Health Officer and Mr. Rupert Xavier, Deputy CEHO.
A special Sensitization Meeting for the Environmental Health Officers which took the form of a training session was held in the afternoon of March 11, 2011.
The purpose of this meeting was to sensitize the EHOs on the core capacity requirements for the implementation of the IHR but more specifically to outline their roles and responsibilities in the process and sustainability of the surveillance.
The Officers were provided with information by Mr. Colin Browne on the IHR, Port Health – roles and responsibilities of EHO, Pratique, the composition of teams required to board ships and the documents needed to clear vessels.
The discussion included the lack of resources to conduct inspection of food and other goods at the ports, the disposal of waste and the legal implications for disallowing a vessel or aircraft from off loading passengers who had a public health crisis on board.
It was stressed that with the lack of human capacity, all entities had to work collaboratively to maintain the high levels of surveillance required to keep the territories free from hazards.
Mr. Rupert Xavier, Deputy CEHO and other participants.
Participants at the Sensitization Meeting for Environmental Health Officers
Dayrells Rd & Navy Garden, Christ Church, Barbados