Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: The Ministry of Health’s Public Health Department says it has gone “to the limit” by forcing vendors off the compound of the Western Regional Hospital in order to attend to its many problems.
Forgoing a requested meeting on Friday, the vendors were served with notices of eviction signed by Senior Public Health Inspector Mark Bernard, copied to Mayor Khalid Belisle, area representative John Saldivar and the Ministry.
Bernard told News 5, “We had a discussion and we looked at what was happening; even after we had renovated the food store room, we had this incident now and we realize that we have to go to the limit, so to speak noh. And we knew the fact that the vendors do not have the adequate facilities, scraps of food are left outside; we knew that will provide foods for rodents. We felt that we really had to ask them to leave the compound until we have the situation under control and in the future, have a better facility for them.”
Bernard reveals other facets of the Ministry’s strategy: “One, we are identifying areas where rodents are gaining access to the building. As I’ve mentioned before it is an old building, it’s on the ground level, rodents don’t have to climb too much to get in. And also we noticed that there were some drains that lead from inside the building to facilitate like the removal of waste water when you are washing.
So we are identifying those and blocking those off so that rodents cannot enter into the building. We have the rodent control program, the poison program ongoing. As you realize, the hospital is kinda sensitive…you cannot be throwing poison all over the place. So we have started outside and will use traps and different things on the inside. Part of the really ongoing thing that we will be doing is that the public health inspectors will be at least twice a week, looking at the hospital, making sure that the garbage is properly removed; that no food is left overnight in the place; that the kitchen is properly maintained.
Any signs of rodents then we will know that something is happening. So we will be doing a thorough inspection at least twice or more per week at the hospital. We are asking all member of staff to be on guard; if they notice anything to let us know so we can investigate further.”
According to Bernard the matter was discussed at least two months ago and vendors were warned from then that they might be asked to leave, and that really, it is for their own good, to avoid complaints of issues with food served at the premises.
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