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Oct 27, 2017

Beware Survey Impersonators

On Thursday night, a Facebook post went viral and the Ministry of Health and Statistical Institute of Belize were in the middle of it. One Facebook user alleges that a woman in a white van who claimed to be from the ministry approached her mother to take a blood sample. She wrote that the individual didn’t have any identification and her persistence made her mother uncomfortable and wary. The ministry and S.I.B. say they are concerned about this claim and are looking into it. The ministry confirmed that they are carrying out a project that is requesting blood samples and other information, but that the team members have IDs and are using marked vehicles. It is part of the wider survey of Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease.  Deputy Director of Health Services Francis Morey clarifies.

 

Francis Morey

Dr. Francis Morey, Deputy D.H.S., Ministry of Health

“There is a concern that has reached the Ministry of Health and more principally the Director of Health Services desk in regards to claims or allegations circulating on social media in regards to individuals who may take advantage of our current project. We are undertaking a community risk research on chronic kidney disease and we have partnered with SIB. This activity has been going on as a national survey. It started the first week of August. The individuals who are working for SIB are accompanied by a laboratory technician who is a phlebotomist and a nurse. The concern is that these individuals who are currently taking the survey have a white t-shirt that identifies them as being the interviewers who are going around working for SIB and the Ministry of Health within this project. They also have an ID that says my name is such a person and I am currently undertaking this survey for the SIB and the Ministry of Health. They also travel in a van or other means of transportation that has the SIB logo.  The Ministry of Health is concerned about what other individuals are doing out there. We continue to support and ask the community to support in regards of having this survey done. We are taking blood sample specifically to check the person’s kidney function; cholesterol; triglycerides. We are also measuring the person’s weight and other essential information that we need from the community.”

 

Ministry of Health and SIB say that the information collected will be used solely to determine how many persons are likely to suffer from kidney disease, or how many persons are affected. This data will be used to design policies, programs and interventions to combat this disease. 

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