Vector Control Services award winners of Essay, Poetry, Poster Competition

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The top entries of the Ministry of Public Health’s Vector Control Services (VCS) first Essay, Poetry and Poster Competition on Monday benefitted from a one- day workshop, which focused on the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis. The winners also received their prizes at the conclusion of the workshop.

Head of Neglected Infectious Diseases, Vector Control Services (VCS), Dr. Fabu Moses and the awardees.

In brief remarks at the prize giving ceremony, Head of Neglected Infectious Diseases, VCS, Dr. Fabu Moses said that essay, poetry and poster competition is one of the many initiatives the ministry has undertaken to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by the year 2022.

Dr. Moses explained that, “We (VCS) chose schools, workplaces and other public places because this is where most persons spend most of their time when they are not home, especially during the day when our pill distributors going around these places… for schools, we know children spend 60 to 70 percent of their waking hours outside their home involved in curriculum and extra-curriculum activities.” She noted that children can be disproportionally affected by intestinal worms hence the section focuses on informing and providing medical assistance.

The Head of Neglected Infectious Diseases said the competition received positive responses. The contest which was divided into three categories-the; six to nine, 10 to 13 and 14 to 18 and  saw 39 participants from youths within central Georgetown, Regions Three and Five.

The competition was marked out of 20; first place winners were required to score at least 18 points, to attain second place 16 or 17 points had to secured, whilst 13-15 points were required for third place.

For the essay competition, the 6 to 9 category, saw Roshenna Holder and Arysh Raghunauth receiving first and second places respectively. However, there was no awarding of a third-place winner. The 10 to 13 group produced no first-place winner however, Hadiya Mc Bean got second place and Amanda Omran got the third place.

The 14 to 18 category saw Sundarsham Singh coping first place while Omari Joseph, Junior Kandasammy and David Jackson all tied for second.

In the six to nine group for the Poster competition, Lusignan Good Hope Learning Centre was awarded third place while Keeana Inderdeo was given an honourable mention. The 10 to 13 category saw no placement but Richard Baldeo was also honourably mentioned.  The 14 to 18 category’s sole placement was Amia Bristol who was given third place.

For the poetry competition, there were no winners in the 6 to 9 category, however Aruni Prashad and Daniel Seenjan (group work) attained second place in the 10-13 group. Omari Joseph placed second in the 14 to 18 category.

Omari Joseph, second place winner in the essay and poetry competition, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that his schoolteacher had told him the importance of the competition. He recalled back then, his attention was focused on his training for the Inter-Guiana Games but he found time to complete and submit his work.

“My teacher was constantly on my back to apply for the competition so I did, but at the time I finished, the deadline on the original poster had passed however… the deadline was extended so I was able to submit my work and I found out couple weeks after that I got second place in the essay and poetry section,” Joseph added that he is happy about his placement in the competition, noting that he could have done much better if he had placed much emphasis in his work.

Lymphatic Filariasis, also known as Elephantiasis, is a parasitic infection caused by the Wuchereria bancroftiBrugia malayi, and Brugia timori nematode worms transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes, Culex, Anopheles, and Mansonia mosquitoes. The disease targets the body’s lymphatic system.

The majority of cases are asymptomatic–persons do not exhibit symptoms – although the worms can damage kidneys and lymph nodes over a long period of time without signs of illness. A severe infection, which may not show up for years, causes swelling in the genitals, breasts, arms and legs and may progress to lung disease.

Earlier this year (2017), the Ministry of Public Health held a-one-week training programme (Tool for Integrated Planning and Costing (TIPAC) workshop) for its staff and those from the Ministries of Education and Finance to prepare them to manage a decentralised vector control service.

The Tool for Integrated Planning and Costing (TIPAC) is considered innovative software developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist countries in planning for their public health programme activities over a five year period.

The programme will also help users to accurately estimate costs and funding gaps of public health programmes so as to operationalise the plans. It can be used in conjunction with existing national strategic plans and budgets to actively plan and co-ordinate the future programmes of the Vector Control Unit.


By: Neola Damon


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