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PROTECTION PROGRAMME AGAINST HEPATITIS B FOR 350 STAFF MEMBERS FROM SCHOOLS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

PROTECTION PROGRAMME AGAINST HEPATITIS B FOR 350 STAFF MEMBERS FROM SCHOOLS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

Three hundred and fifty (350) staff members from the Network of Schools of Special Education are to be fully immunized against Hepatitis B. A grant of $1.2 million from the National Health Fund (NHF) will provide all three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine to teaching and non-teaching staff in the 28 schools across the island.

Historically there are health risks associated with certain occupational groups, such as practitioners working with children with Developmental Disabilities. Mrs. Grace Duncan, the Executive Director of the Jamaican Association on Mental Retardation (JAMR) says although cognizant of the health requirement, the lack of resources prevented the JAMR from providing protection against the Hepatitis B Virus for its staff. Several attempts were made to seek support for this programme she said, but without success.

She adds, “It is with a great sense of satisfaction that the JAMR wishes to recognize the collaboration with the NHF in the provision of this needed coverage for the 350 members of staff in the Network of Schools of Special Education island wide. This collaboration highlights the benefits of the partnership that can be forged between NGOs and other agencies in the delivery of services for vulnerable groups.”

The vaccines are being administered by the Public Health Nurse at JAMR, assisted by two Registered Nurses who are members of the Network of Schools of Special Education. The project should be completed by November this year.

Acute and chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide, causing severe illness or death. The virus can be found in the blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. Chronic Hepatitis B infection often has no symptoms until the disease becomes evident after years of attack on the patient’s immune system, causing so much scarring of the liver resulting in its failure.

An agency of the Ministry of Health & Wellness
NHF’s QMS is ISO – 9001:2015 Certified

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