CPS meets with Pastors and Spiritual Leaders as part of COVID-19 Community Outreach

April 30, 2020 4:30 pm
In its continuous efforts to reach out to different stakeholders within the community, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), met with spiritual and church leaders at the Government Administration Building on April 24 to discuss how they can provide valuable support in the CPS COVID-19 Community Outreach Campaign, and in support of the visits of Community Awareness Volunteers (CAV) to various neighborhoods. In the absence of church services and under these difficult circumstances, it is crucial that religious leaders stay in contact with their respective members through WhatsApp and virtual sessions, to provide moral support and share important information. CPS?s representatives Maria Henry and Jane Pattipeilohy, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and representatives of the Red Cross: Mitchell Horsford, Asma Berkel and Henk Veerdig, met with nearly 20 religious leaders from all over Sint Maarten, and discussed their important role in disseminating accurate COVID-19 information and facilitating the visits of CPS team of volunteers in the neighbourhoods aimed to assist persons with possible COVID-19 symptoms. Other important messages brought forward by CPS for the public: Do not wait to call your physician if you have flu-like symptoms; if you do not have a General Practitioner or cannot reach your physician: Call CPS at 914 without delay and; do not go to the Emergency Room of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) when you are sick but call first. Community Awareness Volunteers guided by Romain Laville, also a volunteer, in consultation with CPS are assisting residents to understand important facts about COVID-19 and know how to prevent getting and spreading the virus. Volunteers are identified by the badges that they wear. Pastors have been requested to pass on the following COVID-19 information to their church members: Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms; Maintain 2 meters (6 feet) distance from other persons; Wash your hands with water and soap regularly for at least 20 seconds; Cough/sneeze in your flexed elbow or in a tissue and throw it away in a garbage bin and wash your hands with water and soap thereafter. Until further notice religious gatherings of any kind are not allowed. It is recommended to conduct church services online. Religious leaders will share with their members a list of emergency numbers of physicians and other important contacts. CPS will share guidelines on cleaning surfaces within the homes; information will be provided about burial procedures for persons who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and have died. This information will be translated in Creole. PHOTO CUTLINE: CPS Maria Henry addressing the pastors present during the meeting last week. Source: sintmaartengov.org