Dr. Nisbett was at the time delivering remarks at the Ministry of Health’s Annual Programme and Awards ceremony under the theme “Give Praise” on December 19, 2012 at the Alexandra Hospital’s Grounds. She noted that the business of Public Health was prevention and that they were involved in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
“This year has been challenging in terms of resources and everyone is aware of the economic climate globally. It has been particularly challenging in terms of human resources. However, despite our challenges we have been able to keep our programmes going and with success,” she said.
According to Dr. Nisbett, the immunisation rates on Nevis remained high and also the attendance level at the Child Health Clinics. They also managed to improve data collection at those clinics and she thanked the nurses for their efforts.
Despite the Dengue and Leptospirosis outbreaks in nearby islands, Dr. Nisbett disclosed that there were no epidemics on Nevis for the year due to the efforts of the Department’s Vector Control officers and other officers in the Department.
“We have kept food borne illnesses at bay, due to the efforts of our environmental Health officers. Sick patients do not disembark ships due to our improved Port Health programme.
“The number of caries being seen in primary school children has dropped significantly due to the oral health programmes at our primary and now at our pre schools. The Health Promotion Unit continues their education in schools, community health centres and the media. These include education about various topics including of course chronic non communicable diseases and HIV,” she noted.
The Health Official used the opportunity to publicly laud the efforts of the staff of the Registrar General’s office, Community Health Nursing, the Oral Health Unit, the Environmental Health Unit and the Health Promotion and Education Unit who had performed satisfactorily throughout 2012.
“I want to therefore take this opportunity to applaud and publicly thank the staff of the Public Health Department that despite limitations, have been able to successfully deliver the public health programmes during 2012.
“I want to encourage them to continue in the New Year with even greater vigour and pride in their work knowing that they are the ones charged with the responsibility of protecting and promoting the health of the residents of Nevis,” she said.
Meantime, while she thanked the partners, stakeholders and clients who assisted the Department during 2012, Dr. Nisbett stated that sometimes Public Health was often times overlooked by members of the public who believed that health was centered around the hospital.
“I want to assure you that without the efforts of public health and the officers within public health, our occupancy rate at the hospital would not be below 38 percent…
“I see that there are a number of contributions being made by donors to the hospital, to instutional health and I am making this appeal to persons to recognise public health and realise that we too need donations. We are doing a pretty hard job in the community keeping our residents healthy,” she said.