GWI workers being immunized against infectious diseases

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016, 10:16 by Denis Chabrol

GWI Employee receiving a vacination from a Ministry of Health Representative

A GWI employee receiving a vaccine from a Ministry of Health representative

Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Thursday said it is partnering with the Ministry of Health for an immunization exercise which recently resulted in 50 GWI employees being vaccinated against infectious diseases.

According to Health and Safety Officer, GWI, Christopher Cathro “following an initiative from our Chief Executive, we have enhanced our health and safety programme to include the immunization of all employees who may be exposed to communicable diseases and microbiological bacteria in the course of their duties; in particular, we have focused on our Sanitation Department and Operations field staff to ensure that these employees are sufficiently protected against potential infections.” The programme will be implemented over the next five months and will provide all GWI employees across the country with the opportunity to receive the complete course of vaccinations.

Through a partnership with the Ministry of Health, the initial 50 employees were immunized against Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Yellow Fever, Diphtheria/Tetanus and Hepatitis B.  The exercise was conducted last week at the company’s Corporate Complex, Georgetown.

“Because of the nature of the job, many of our sanitation employees may come into contact with these potential infections,” stated Cathro, “I am pleased that with the support of the Chief Executive, we are protecting employees and properly preparing them for potential threats to their health.”

The Health and Safety Officer further stated that vaccinations for ‘Chickenpox’ are also being made available for those employees who require it.  Prior to administering the vaccinations, representatives from the Ministry of Health provided information for every employee on all the facts regarding the vaccinations being provided.

The immunization programme will see a further 156 employees receiving the vaccinations during the last week of January. A schedule is being prepared by the Ministry of Health and GWI’s Human Resources Department for the immunization of employees in Berbice, Linden, Essequibo, etc.

In addition, Cathro indicated that GWI is in the process of upgrading the facilities available for employees of the Sanitation Department.  “We are currently working on the design and plan for the rehabilitation of the facilities utilized by our sanitation teams for sanitization”, stated the Health and Safety Officer,  “the plan will see the installation of new shower rooms, sinks, and other amenities to ensure our employees are thoroughly sanitized after performing their duties.   There will also be the introduction of individual employee anti-microbial soaps, hand sanitizers and a laundry service for the cleaning of overalls to eliminate the risk of employees exposing their families to the contaminants.”

The new initiatives form part of Chief Executive, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles’ programme to significantly enhance the level of Health and Safety offered to all GWI employees.