‘Condomize’ campaign promotes safe sex in post-secondary schools

Culminating a month-long promotion centred on raising awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and sexually transmitted infections like HIV, the ‘CONDOMIZE’ campaign will be stationed at the Uni Café of the University of Seychelles in Anse Royale on Friday 21st September 2018, as from 10 am to promote safe sexual behaviours to postsecondary students.

The Health Promotion Unit of the Ministry of Health, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme of the Public Health Authority and the HIV/AIDS Prevention Task Force (HAPTF), leaders of the campaign, will showcase the theme ‘Sexual Health and Sexual Rights are FUNDAMENTAL for well-being’ with an array of activities targeted towards the youth.

In 2015, the Seychelles Global School‐based Student Health Survey conducted amongst students aged 11 to 17 years of age showcased a high level of sexual activity. 40% of students stated that they had sexual intercourse.

However, amongst those who engaged in sexual intercourse, only 50% used a condom during their last sexual interaction. Additionally, a substantial proportion reported sexual abuse.

The organisers will be present in multi-coloured stalls dispersed around the café to talk to the students about reproductive health in all aspects, the practice of safe sex with a focus on consent and the importance of using condoms.

These will be done through exchanges and mini demonstrations/presentations. They will also distribute several promotional materials aimed at reinforcing the messages shared on the day. Included are campaign t-shirts with interactive slogans, usb drives, keyrings and others.

Students will also be encouraged to stop by the photo-booth packed with props and frames to take photos of the day and share on social media and other platforms to further spread the campaign and what they learn.

The Anse Royale Campus has several institutions. The School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Business Studies and Accounting and Seychelles Institute of Art and Design.

Other activities are being organised around the campaign. These include several outreach programmes. One outreach to promote female condoms will take place on Monday 17th September from 10am to 2pm on Market Street and at Orion Mall.

English River Health Centre undergoes renovations

From Monday 6th August 2018, the English River Health Centre will undergo a series of renovation to upgrade its delivery of community health services.

The main works will be at the Accident and Emergency Unit. These include extension works on the front area to expand the area for new rooms. Because of this, the Accident and Emergency unit will remain closed until further notice.

Acute emergency cases should be sent to the Casualty Unit of the Seychelles Hospital. Such cases are usually labelled category one and two cases. In these instances an immediate response to a life threatening conditions is required or rapid assessment and/or urgent transport is needed.

Additionally, the facility will get a fresh coat of paint and refurbishment of other units.

The works will be done in two phases and are expected to last 6 months. Necessary precautions have been taken to minimize inconveniences.

The Health Care Agency thanks the public for their cooperation and understanding.

Stakeholders consider advancement of public health emergency and preparedness programmes

The way forward for developing a National Action Plan for Health Securities (NAPHS) to further strengthen the country’s health system and improve emergency response to public health threats will be presented on Thursday 2nd August 2018.

The presentation will be done at the Savoy Conference Room, in Beau Vallon, at 1.30pm.

This is part of two-day workshop facilitated by two external consultants from the World Health Organization (WHO), in which individuals from different sectors with expertise in specific areas of Public Health Emergency planning and response will deliberate on objectives and activities that will eventually produce the National Action Plan.

Areas to be explored include; National Legislation, Policy and Financing; Communication and Advocacy; Antimicrobial Resistance; Zoonosis; Food Safety; Biosafety and Biosecurity; Immunisation; National Laboratory system; Real Time Surveillance; Reporting; Workforce Development; Preparedness; Emergency Response Operations; Linking Public Health with Securities; Medical Counter measures and personal Deployment; Risk Communication; Points of Entry; Chemical Events and Radiation Emergencies.

Health security is of immense importance in a world threatened by a wide range of infectious and non-infectious hazards. Preparedness for such situations needs continuous revisions and updates, and can at times be quite inadequate. According to evaluations done in line with the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) developed by WHO, only one third of countries currently meet the minimum requirements to detect, assess, notify and report public health events.

Seychelles conducted an evaluation of its capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health threats earlier this year in March 2018. The assessment measured the country’s specific status and progress in achieving set targets and the draft report has already been produced and submitted.

The national action plan is globally recognised an effective tool to use nationwide to outline proposed work in a certain area. The National Action Plan for Health Securities will provide a clearer pathway to achieving the goals outlined in the previous evaluation and also reinforce successful strategies and significantly minimise both health and economic consequences.

Futuro Sports Sesel joins Ministry of Health in weekly health walks

With a focus on encouraging more families to exercise together, members of the Futuro Sports Sesel, along with their coaches and parents will on Thursday 19th June 2018 join the Ministry of Health at the Stad Popiler for the weekly exercise initiative under the ‘Bouze Menm!’ (Keep Moving!) slogan.

The health walk which is led every week by the Ministry of Health under the Health of Our Nation (HOON) umbrella of ‘My Health, My Responsibility’ brings together different members of the community for a few laps around the stadium.

Kicking things off differently at 3.30pm, the newly formed football club/academy will start with a workout, where the children with their parents will engage in array of exercise routines; including drills and games. Members of the public who are interested to learn more about the academy are welcome to come and discover more about how the academy works and how they can get involved.

As participants will gather to take up their habitual activities at 4pm, the children and their parents will also join them for several laps around the stadium.

Futuro Sports Sesel has enlisted more than 20 children aged 5-25 years who have a passion for football. In joining the Ministry of Health to promote the ‘My Health My Responsibility: Keep Moving’ theme, they want to encourage more children to join the academy and get parents to equally exercise with their children.

A networking event will follow the event where members of the public will have time to interact with the club owners to discover more about their programmes.

Regular exercise is proven to contribute positively to a healthy life with reduced risk from non-communicable diseases.

As part of the ‘move it’ campaign the Ministry of Health is happy to join with Futuro Sports Sesel to encourage families to engage in regular exercise together. Participants are encouraged to do as much or as little as they are comfortable with.

Agreement signed with Airtel to improve disease surveillance and response

The Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (DSRU) will on Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 10am sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airtel Seychelles to improve the efficiency of surveillance and response in the country.

The signing will take place at the IDSR meeting room on the ground floor of the Blue Roof Building.

Through the understand Airtel Seychelles will provide MIFI devices with monthly data of 10 GB each to be used by the unit for monitoring.

Additionally the telecommunications will be providing Samsung Tablets to improve the collection and collation of statistics.

The donations made under the MOU will greatly improve the day to day operations of DSRU by improving communication between health professionals and the sharing of health information in the areas of epidemiology.

In the immediate the devices will be used to facilitate two ongoing surveys between the Ministry of Health and several partners: the Prison Integrated Behavioural and Biological Surveys.

Health Minister opens third annual symposium for Person-Centred Care

Bringing two of UK’s distinguished professors, Anne Hendry and Paul Rylance, the Third Annual Symposium on Person-Centred Care will be opened by the Minister for Health Jean Paul Adam on Wednesday 12th July at 11 am at the diagnostic centre conference room.

This year more than 80 health professionals have registered to take part in the discussions under the theme “Leading quality through person-centred care”.

Person-centred care is the practice of giving care more for the needs of the patient. The first Symposium on Person-Centred Care in Seychelles was launched in 2015.

Following that an annual event have been created to teach health professionals how to further be flexible to meet their patients’ needs by placing them as an equal partner in the planning, developing and monitoring care to make sure it meets their needs.

Over three days, participants will interact in a selection of presentations and consultations to understand person-centred care and how to cater to patients needs by allowing them to be fully involved in their care by examining what is important when giving and receive care, what makes them feel that an episode of care has gone well and what they can do better.

Additionally, there will be group discussion and role playing to identify future goals and targets in patient-centred care and to give participants the chance to put into practice what they have learnt.

The Symposium on person-centred care is held every year in July and is attended by health professionals in all cadres.

Public Health Authority refutes claims of contaminated rice

The Public Health Authority (PHA) wishes to inform members of the public that messages circulating on social media and digital platforms regarding a contaminated shipment of rice from Pakistan is not authentic.

Investigations conducted by the Food Control Unit shows that the messages are related to an incident which occurred in 2013, whereby a shipment of 3 thousand tons of rice from Pakistan was quarantined in Mexico after officials discovered an infestation of tiny beetles in the grains.

No formal notifications have been received from the Seychelles Customs Department nor from the International Food Safety Network (INFOSAN) regarding a similar contamination.

The messages have been circulating social platforms in different countries for some time and the exact origin is uncertain and does not appear to be Seychelles.

Similar rumors have been circulating in the Jamaican media. Earlier in June the Jamaican Customs Agency (JCA) said it had no proof to confirm the claims.

Cancer patients set to benefit from external contribution

The Oncology Unit of the Seychelles Hospital will benefit a dual donation on Thursday 28th June 2018 from Soroptimist Seychelles and La Belle Hair Salon.

The presentations will be made at 1 pm at the red roof veranda.

Soroptimist Seychelles with the support of MCB Seychelles and Kannus through their annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) will be giving to unit 4 clinical recliners and infusion stands and 2 TV sets.

Ms Josette Barbe, owner of La Belle Hairdressing Salon will make a donation of wigs for cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment.

The CEO of Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, will accept the donation on behalf of the unit.

Also in attendance will be the Managing Director of MCB Seychelles, Mr Bernard Jackson, the Onwer of Kannus Mr Shan Pillay and staff of the Oncology.

HCA undertakes renovation work on health centres

In continuing efforts to upgrade Community Health services, the Health Care Agency is embarking on major refurbishment projects on two of the five regional health centres in the country.

Local contractors have been awarded contracts to effect refurbishment and remodeling works at the English River Health Centre and to renovate the entire wastewater system at the Anse Boileau Health Centre.

Work on the English River Health Centre has begun since earlier June and involves an extension to add eight rooms. These will compliment and better accommodate health care services delivered at this health centre.

The Accident and Emergency section undergo an expansion of its present area to include an improved observation room complete with toilet and sluice facilities. Upon completion, the section will have increased space and facilities to cope with increased emergency cases; thus facilitating the movements and upgraded flow of work for the health care professionals.

Other renovation works involve the overall redecoration, fungal treatment and repainting of the entire health center.

At Anse Boileau Health Centre the entire wastewater and drainage system will be overhauled to include new man holes, drainage lines, inspection chambers, septic tanks and a field drain system for the final disposal of waste underground.

The present and existing system is currently unable to effectively manage the collection, draining and disposal of all the wastewaters that the health center facility is producing. The plateau area has a high water table, meaning that the current soakaway pits are flooded whenever there is high tide and this is aggravated during the rainy season. The new drainage system will provide for raised manholes and sewer lines and drain fields will be more appropriate for the effective containment of all wastewaters.

The other project for Anse Boileau health center is the renovation of the on call doctor’s house. The scope of works has already been tendered out and potential contractors have until the 12th June to submit their quotations after which tender analysis and approval to go ahead will be carried out.

Members of the public are being asked to understand and give out their full support and cooperation whilst the renovation works are being carried out.

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