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Sep 22, 2015

Health Inspector Says Vendors Had to Go as WRH Implements New Measures

Mark Bernard

The letter was issued to the vendors on Friday following a notice that the hospital administration was requesting a meeting with them.  That meeting never happened and they were in fact served with the eviction letters, which were signed by Senior Health Inspector, Mark Bernard, and copied to the Belmopan mayor, the Belmopan area rep., John Saldivar and the Ministry of Health. According to Bernard, the eviction is one of the many strategies that are being put in place to address the rodent infestation.


Mark Bernard, Senior Health Inspector

“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.”


Duane Moody

“We understand that this is only one of several strategies that you guys are putting in place?”


Mark Bernard

“Yes, we are doing several things. 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.”


Duane Moody

“Sir, the vendors feel like they weren’t notified adequate of the removal from the hospital compound. Any comments to that?”


Mark Bernard

“I remember that we had a discussion with them about probably like two months ago…we didn’t tell them that we were going to move them off the compound, but we hinted to them—I personally hinted to them—that the facilities that they have is not adequate and just be prepared for whatever might happen in the future. The fact that this rodent problem happened and prompted us to take some rather drastic action. We realize that it is hard for people who are trying to make a living. The hospital does need people who can provide food and stuff like that, but we need to get these things under control and the last thing we want to hear is that these incidents repeated and then people say you have the vendors there and it is not adequate, there are scraps of foods available so you are not doing enough to kinda get this under control. So it is rather unfortunate and it is not something that we were happy to do, but we felt that in the best interest to protect the public to protect the patients at the hospital there.”

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