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Caribbean Red Cross Societies Step Up H1N1 Response

November 2, 2009 By: Joe Pike

According to the Caribbean Net News, Red Cross societies around the Caribbean are supporting their statutory health care systems in preparing communities to respond to H1N1.

The report cites a few concrete examples of the work being done by the Red Cross across the Caribbean, including Aruba Red Cross’ assistance to the Department of Healthcare of Aruba in the screening process of passengers and crew members of a cruise ship.

In response to requests from their Ministry of Health, the Grenada Red Cross was able to mobilize specially trained volunteers known as National Intervention Teams (NITs) to assist Port Health workers at the airport and cruise ship port within half an hour of being asked to do so.

Saint Lucia Red Cross was able to activate its volunteers to distribute 30,000 flyers at the Jazz Festival earlier this year.

In addition to community work, the Guyana, Jamaica and Belize Red Cross have been working with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to raise awareness on hygiene and prevention of H1N1.

The Dominca Red Cross is gearing up for an influx of international visitors to two major music events: World Creole Music festival and Creole in the Park.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross volunteers are assisting the South West Regional Health Authority to triage patients with H1N1 symptoms.

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