Countries in the Caribbean share a similar history in the development of their health systems. They have often cooperated to deal with many of the challenges to health which they have had to confront. However, there is need for even greater collaboration and cooperation among the countries of the Region, given the increasing threats to the economies of these countries and the presence of newly emerging and re-emerging problems in the health sector. Efforts, therefore, have to be focused not only on the fight against disease, but on promoting healthy lifestyles, protecting the environment and increasing the capacity of the health sector to provide quality services and value for money.
The concept of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH) Initiative was introduced in 1984 at a meeting of the former CARICOM Conference of Ministers responsible for Health (CMH). The CMH saw this as a mechanism for health development through increasing collaboration and promoting technical cooperation among the countries in the Caribbean. The Initiative, in which seven (7) priority health areas were identified, was adopted by the CMH and approved by the Heads of Government in 1986. An evaluation of the initiative (1992-94), found that the priorities identified ensured that activities were focused in areas critical to improving health status in the region. Overall it was established that the initiative was beneficial to Caribbean countries.In 1996, the CMH mandated a re-definition and re-formulation of the CCH initiative for the period 1997-2001. A wide cross section of national and regional professionals in health and planning from 19 member countries met in Port-of-Spain in July 1997 to re-program the initiative. The meeting selected eight (8) health priority areas, recommended strategies for implementation and identified some areas of common concern which required joint action. The recommendations of that meeting, which were approved by CMH in 1997, form the basis of this current phase of the initiative.
The Caribbean Sea touches the shores of North, Central and South America. Its waters lap at islands inhabited by English, Spanish, French and Dutch-speaking people. Among our continental populations some pre-Colombian languages survive.
The English-speaking Caribbean has a history of co-operation for economic benefit through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Approximately 10 years ago these countries began to address health priorities through the Caribbean Cooperation inHealth (CCH) and Phase II of the CCH was initiated in 1998.
Through CARICOM and PAHO several Caribbean institutions have been established to provide resources for health. These include the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) and the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC). Caribbean Ministries of Health and Education and other institutions, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), have long been involved in health education. However, there is recognition of the need to emphasise new approaches to deal effectively with health challenges that currently face the Caribbean sub-region.
Health communication is one of these approaches. Health communication is a relatively new concept and discipline. The decision to produce this manual, based on scientific principles, for the English-speaking sub-region is motivated by a need for Caribbean health communicators to address old and new community health problems more effectively. However, planned systematic communication campaigns are a well-established feature of health promotion.
This booklet, written primarily for the Caribbean, is based on the “Guide to Making Your Home Hurricane Resistant” published by the United Insurance Company Limited of Barbados, although its scope is wider than hurricanes in recognition of the threat of other natural hazards that exist in the Caribbean. It is fortunate that the technical author of the United Insurance Guide, Mr. Tony Gibbs, made available to PAHO his special expertise in this field and is responsible for the technical aspects of this guide.
The underlying principle of both the Insurance Guide and this one is that we all have a responsibility to protect our homes and our families and in the case of those who work in the health field our patients, visitors and staff from the dangers of natural hazards. This Guide seeks to help to do that not in the expectation that its use will create a group of technical experts, but rather, by making the technical expertise available in a form that can be used by the non-technical person.
The checklists reproduced in the Annex were first used in health facilities as part of a Workshop held in the British Virgin Islands in July 1998. The comments and suggestions of those participants have been incorporated in this final version and have undoubtedly contributed to its value.The Guide is being published at the end of the decade that was designated by the United Nations as the “International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction”. This timing therefore recognizes the need to persevere with the initiatives begun in the years up to 1999, in order to continue to ensure the safety of members of the community and the staff themselves in the event of natural hazards.
The objective of this handbook is to provide a readily accessible, easy to use, easy to understand manual for managers in the hospitality industry on how to make and keep your facility healthy and at the same time help to protect the environment.
Managers make policy in their respective departments. Your facility cannot be profitable, kept disease-free and safe, and be environmentally conscious without the support and dedication of all of the staff.
The motivation to produce this handbook, like many other environmental and health related initiatives, had its genesis at the 'Earth Summit' in Rio, Brazil in 1992. Further impetus was derived from the Regional Conference on Environmental Health and Sustainable Tourism Development in the Caribbean, held in the Bahamas in 1993; and the Global Conference on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) held in Barbados in 1994.
Whilst this Health and Hygiene in Hospitality Guide does provide practical information and tips on resource conservation, which would complement any existing environmental programs at your hotel, the primary focus of this book, as the title suggests is on ensuring safe public health practice. This book addresses major potential health hazards faced by any hotel (large or small) including:
- Food Safety
- Drinking Water Quality
- Bathing Beach and Swimming Pool Water Quality
- Wastewater Treatment and Disposal
- General Guest and Employee Health and Safety
The handbook is divided into four modules:
- Food & Beverage Management
- Facilities Management
- General Services
This is the second of four modules - Food & Beverage Management