The Ministry of Health has prioritized health services for the people in the area affected by Hurricane Iris. So far the health workers in the southern part of the Stann Creek district report treating 1,183 persons for injuries, acute respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, and skin infections. In the Toledo district, some 1,118 persons received treatment, mostly for respiratory infections, 5% of them for conjunctivitis, and 5% for diarrheal diseases.
Medical teams including doctors are stationed at health centers in the villages of Placencia, Seine Bight, Bella Vista, Independence and San Juan, the first three of which have also been provided with generators by Belize Electricity Limited. The health teams visited the villages of Graham Creek, Hicattee II, Crique Sarco, and Dolores on Monday.
Other health teams have also been stationed in the villages of Santa Theresa and San Antonio, and are also conducting daily clinics in Big Falls and Blue Creek. Medical team was also airlifted to the village of San Benito Poite, to remain there until further notice.
They have also visited other communities affected by the hurricane and will continue these visits. The communities visited include Medina Bank, San Juan, Cowpen, Red Bank, Georgetown, Independence, Bladen, Trio, Mango Walk, San Pablo, San Antonio, Jalacte, Indian Creek, San Miguel, Dump, Big Falls, Jericho, Midway, San Jose, San Pedro Columbia, San Benito Poite, Santa Theresa, Santa Ana, Oneido Creek, Blue Creek, Mafredi, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Pueblo Viejo, Santa Cruz, Jordan, Mabilha, San Lucas, Hicattee, Corazon, Otoxha, Nalum Ka, Silver Creek, San Marcos, Crique Jute, Laguna, Tambran, Golden Stream, Indian Creek, Aguacate, Punta Negra, Monkey River, and Barranco.
A safe drinking water supply is a primary health concern, and health workers are distributing chlorine to all households in the affected area and teaching them proper chlorinations practice. The Pan American Health Organization has provided 18 plastic vats in the south Stann Creek area, and 26 more have been distributed in the Toledo district. Arrangement have been made for their continuous filling.
Villagers are also learning the importance of food safety and environmental sanitation through a public awareness campaign conducted by the health workers as they visit house to house.
Health workers are also spraying to control the larvae of various disease carrying insects, including anopheles mosquitoes, to prevent the possible outbreak of malaria.