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|San Pedro Daily||Friday,
April 13, 2012
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Clean Up Campaign
On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. The San Pedro Town Council is embarking on a Clean-up Campaign starting on Monday, April 16 and ending on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2012. Councilor Carlos Barrientos explained to the media what his plans are for this clean-up campaign.
“One of my main priorities under my portfolio is to keep San Pedro Clean and I know I can do it,” commented Councilor Barrientos. One of his main focuses is to educate the people, especially the children, of San Pedro not to litter and to keep out island as clean as possible.
“I believe that we have to start from the bottom and work our way to the top; by targeting the children at school who then can educated their parents and family members about the importance of living in a clean environment,” stated Councilor Barrientos.
Councilor Barrientos, along with the Mayor and other town council members, will be visiting schools around San Pedro as part of their clean-up campaign to educate and implement the importance of environmental issues in San Pedro.
He went on stating that empty lots that are dirty will also be cleaned and then billed in their property tax bills for having been cleaned. “It is very important to have this island clean and I will do anything I can to do so,” stated Councilor Barrientos.
New garbage receptacles will also be placed throughout the island to help maintain it clean. Councilor Barrientos believes that working hand in hand with the residents of this island, as well as with business owners, is the best thing to do for the betterment of the island.
Educating today’s youth about environmental sustainability has the power to capture the attention of students, teachers, parents, the community, and beyond. Earth Day 2012’s education mission is simple: encourage as many students as possible to participate in Earth Day activities that teach the importance of civic and environmental responsibility.
Together we can stand united for a sustainable future let us all do our part for a cleaner San Pedro and a cleaner world. For more information on the cleanup campaign you can contact the San Pedro Town Council at 226-2198 or Councilor Carlos Barrientos at 601-7018.
Work begins on new world-class shopping centre in Belize
DHS Holding Co. has begun the first phase of development of the Cenote Falls Shopping Center, a new world-class and family-friendly shopping experience slated for development on a recently acquired 40-acre parcel of land in Belize. This phase will include negotiations with major retailers and restaurant chains.
Charlie Barrett, president of DHS, stated, "I'm very excited that Mike Rohling, our CEO, will be working to bring in retailers such as McDonald's, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, and other fine stores."
Rohling said, "According to our research, nearly $100 million crosses the border from Belize into Mexico each year due to Belize citizens taking advantage of retail options not currently available in Belize. For the first time, Belize citizens will be able to have the EPZ shopping experience in their own country, and those dollars will remain in the Belize economy."
In a letter addressed to DHS, Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras stated, "My government welcomes investment that will contribute to the economic and social development of Belize with the ultimate goal of bringing improvement in the quality of life of all our citizens."
He went on to say, "My government is very much aware that a development of this magnitude will have a very positive impact on our local economy and therefore we will work with your company to ensure its successful implementation. It is most important to us that your efforts will bring employment and growth to Belize. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with your company."
Caribbean News Now
Healthy Living looks at Salmonella
Cleanliness is next to godliness. That practice is as good as gold for whatever we consume. In this week’s edition of Healthy Living we look at salmonella; a common bacteria in Belize that spreads quickly but can be prevented easily with proper hygiene. Here are tips from Pediatrician Cecilio Eck.
Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
When it comes to the food we eat, we don’t question very often the food preparation or hygienic practices of those preparing the meal. While many of us escape unscathed when we eat from our favorite street vendor, not everyone is so lucky. Pediatrician, Dr Cecilio Eck, talks about the effects of coming in contact with contaminated food. The main culprit discussed is salmonella.
Dr. Cecilio Eck, Pediatrician
“Salmonella is a kind of bacteria. It’s one of the common causes in Belize of gastroenteritis or infection of the gut. The symptoms include vomiting and loose stool.”
The most common cause of these symptoms is usually the Rota Virus. The vaccine to protect against the Rota Virus is available in Belize. Salmonella however, comes in a close second.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“In Belize a close second is Salmonella. It is a bacteria, it’s pretty common because of our hygiene practices in Belize. The synonyms for the symptoms they cause include, stomach flu, stomach bug, gastroenteritis food poisoning. There all the same- almost all the same symptoms are the same for these.”
But what about our hygiene practices, make us more susceptible? We are, in fact, taught about washing our hands from preschool or some even sooner.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“In the ward last week I had maybe four kids lined up next to each other and we checked the blood test most of them were positive for salmonella. With the students, nurses and my intern, this same question was posed. And my answer to it is; immediately after this taping, me and you can open a tacos stand and people will come and buy from us and they won’t even check whether we have salmonella in our blood or our system, no public health official will check us, but a lot of them will come and buy. The first issue is that in Belize growing up as kids there is always a season: Boil corn season, mango season, sapra season and what happen is that it is a haven for these food borne illnesses. Salmonella would be on top of that list. The second thing is how the food is prepared, we’re not sure how long it is cooked, the fruits that we eat, we’re not sure if they were washed properly or if the person who is doing the washing washed his hands before he prepares it. We don’t know where the salt comes from what else they cook in the container, what they put in that container. And we have little public health support because I’m not sure how often they are checked of if they are checked on a regular basis at all.”
Salmonella is spread not only by poor hygiene practices of food handlers and preparers but also by our own individual bad practices.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“It can also be gotten as well from poor hygiene. I have an awful diarrhea, I go to the bathroom I wash my hands and you come in and I say “Hi Marleni” and we shake and you go and buy your sapra and you eat it; a couple of those germs get into you. When they get in the incubation period is about two to three days to a week. Then you start with your nausea you want to vomit, then you get chills, fever may ensue then vomiting and then you start with the loose stools.”
The symptoms may last from four days to a week and then it should resolve. In some cases it takes a bit longer; and in some persons the effects are far more sever.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“I separate risk factors based on age: less than two do pretty poorly; between two and ten you vomit a little; over age ten you may just have two to three bouts of loose stool an you recover fully. But the people who end up in the hospital are the kids who continue to vomit, or have loose stool, who eventually who have electrolyte imbalance they become dehydrated. We have to admit, rehydrate and then give antibiotics.”
Other vulnerable groups other than young infants are the elderly and also very sever for persons with sickle cell anemia.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“You can have a patient who is clinically asymptomatic, you can have the simple infection causing the vomiting and diarrhea; you can get it spread into the joints, septic arthritis, you can get it in your bones, osteomyelitis or it can spread to the whole body and cause sepsis and kill you and these effects are most common with kids with sickle cell disease.”
The rainy season, summertime when children spend time in pools, and also post vacation time: like Easter are some of the times Dr. Eck sees a spike in persons with salmonella infections. Another important point is that it is contagious. Dr. Eck shares some suggestions on how to minimize it from spreading and methods of treatment.
Dr. Cecilio Eck
“That kid should be using his or her own bathroom if possible; wash their hands regularly. The younger the child is the more devastating the illness will be. The treatment entails number one prevention, I say prevention. Wash your hands. Number two is rehydrate. Get electrolytes and liquids in the body. Thirdly, if the infection continues, then give antibiotic. If those don’t work, hospitalization where we will administer antibiotics.”
The main prevention is back to the basics with good hygiene. Also, be mindful of your contact with persons who are infected and ensure that your food sources are clean and the food well prepared.
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