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Oct 30, 2014

National Library Service Hosts Health Fair

Ebola and Chik-V pose potential threats to the health of Belizeans. ChikV is not as dangerous, but is prevalent in the region; but Ebola is deadly and as a recent threat showed, information on Ebola is severely lacking. Today, the Belize National Library Service held a health fair that sought to promote healthy lifestyles as well as to encourage students to get updated on the viruses. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The third annual health fair by the Belize National Library Service and Information Service was held today at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. It is being held under the theme, “Being Healthy Is Our Responsibility,” and seeks to promote healthy eating habits and lifestyles for better and longer living. As an information service provider, Senior Library Assistant, Shawna Vacarro, says that they decided to get experts to speak on Ebola and Chikungunya.

 

Shawna Vacarro, Senior Library Assistant

Shawna Vacarro

“We are an organization that provides information and so we decided to bank on this and to invite schools and have persons who are more knowledgeable about the disease to come and impart their information to students.”

 

Duane Moody

“I know that there are several presentations that are ongoing. Tell us about those presentations as well as what we see outside on the grounds.”

 

Shawna Vaccaro

“Okay, we have Doctor Hugh Sanchez who is doing presentation on Chikungunya and the Ebola and that will continue throughout the day. This fair is from ten until three this evening and it is for the general public.”

 

Throughout the day, several schools attended the presentations and visited the various health booths that were stationed on the library compound. According to Pedro Garcia, he found it necessary to bring his third and fourth year science class at Canaan High School because the students are currently working on presentations on Ebola and Chikungunya.

 

Pedro Garcia

Pedro Garcia, Teacher, Canaan High School

“I felt that it was very important for them because living healthy is a choice and as the theme for this whole national library theme this year, living healthy is your choice. So I thought that these people needed to be involved as well and as students, they are the basis of their home. So if the students are involved, you can get to other parts of the community—their parents, their brother and sisters and so on. So by living healthy, you know that Belize wants to be a very healthy nation.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now you know there was this big scare with Ebola and Chikungunya and of course you guys are part of this presentation. Are they aware of what it is all about or is this what it is teaching them?”

 

Pedro Garcia

“Okay that is a nice question. Right now the students are having a presentation on Ebola and Chikungunya and all of these common diseases that are here. I think the presentation as really informative and now they know a little bit more about it and they are not that scared about it because then they are more informed. Well the Ebola issue and so on—well it is not in Belize as yet—but we need to be informed about what the virus is all about.”

 

The students were able to take several tests and for Kayia Bevans, she learnt so much and found the experience to be very informative.

 

Kayia Bevans, Student, Canaan High School

Kayia Bevans

“I’m learning about my health and my diet and it is very important. I eat a lot of fast food and I eat a lot of vegetables so I wanted to know if it was important to eat both of them and apparently it is important but also it is not healthy for me. So I learned that I have to cut back on the fast food.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now, there is a lot of information that you are getting inside as well as outside from the presentation on Ebola and Chikungunya. What is it that maybe you thought you knew?”

 

Kayia Bevans

“Upstairs in the presentation, I learn that a lot of people cover up and wear all sorts of stuff to protect themselves from the Ebola, but naturally it doesn’t help at all to protect yourself because Ebola is something that you can ketch like so quickly and the mask doesn’t protect you at all.”

 

Duane Moody

“Will you be taking this information maybe to your friends, at home to your family; let them know as well what you’ve learnt?”

 

Kayia Bevans

“Yes sir.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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