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Jun 20, 2022

Ministry Concerned about Health Hazards in Wake of Flooding

In the wake of flooding, there are concerns as it relates to health hazards such as vector borne diseases and water contamination, not to mention COVID protocols at shelters for those being housed at these facilities. Director of Public Health and Wellness Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa says that the ministry remains alert and is proactively making sure that all these concerns remain address.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director of Public Health and Wellness, M.O.H.W.

“We have a very strong emergency response team in place. We are part of the EOC as well, nationally, and we have been preparing and we know how to respond. We try to mitigate prior to things like this happening, but we do know that with climate change with the effects of global warming, storms and severity of storms will get worse. For that reason, we prepare as best as possible. Just before the hurricane season, we have our multi-hazard plan in place at all health facilities. I know that they have opened up some places that people can go if their homes have been flooded and those areas are usually manned by somebody from the Ministry of Health as well where we take in pharmaceuticals, we give educational talks as well. And with COVID, we’ve got to ensure that there is the spacing, the mask mandate in place; if anybody is ill, we try to pull them out as early as possible. When it comes to the vector borne illnesses, Belize has been doing quite well especially with malaria compared to many other countries. We have recorded three full years of having zero cases locally and we are in the process at this point to get a formal assessment from W.H.O. to be declared malaria-free. When it comes to dengue this is something that we are monitoring. We’ve got to ensure that we as best as possible do a lot of education with the prevention. We still are doing residual spraying and that will be increased right now with the flooding as well. Just to remind the general public to remove any kind of debris, dirt anything that holds water.”

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