Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Toledo Alcaldes Association conducted a three-day sensitization session for Alcaldes, Village Councils, and Community Health Workers in the Toledo District. The sessions focused on COVID-19 containment measures and information on the COVID-19 vaccination. According to Minister of Health, Michel Chebat, the sensitization efforts were a part of his ministry’s response to the growing number of positive cases in Toledo.
Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “Toledo poses some special challenges for us and so we have our technical people from the Ministry of Health going out there reaching out to the Alcaldes, talking to them, explaining to them how the virus works and the effects of the vaccine and how it can help you to save your life in the event you become infected with the virus. And so we have an ongoing education campaign going on down there and shortly I’ll be going down there and hopefully we can get more of our people in Toledo to get vaccinated.”
Minister of Rural Transformation and Toledo West Area Representative Oscar Requena also took part in the session and said that the initiative played an essential role in helping to prevent the spread of the virus in his constituency.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour: “Over the weekend I was involved in a collaborative process with personnel from the Ministry of Health, the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association in which several meetings were convened with Alcaldes and village chairmen in which the Ministry of Health personnel shared information in relation to COVID19, the importance of the vaccine and other relevant information. I had the opportunity to accompany them to two out of three meetings in those communities. I was at the Julian Cho Technical High School on Saturday and on Sunday I was at the Corazon Technical High School as well. I’m happy to say that we had a very good meeting. We definitely engaged the leaders of the community and they engaged us. It was a good exchange, I feel very optimistic that after going through the meetings and the sessions that the leaders were very happy. A lot of the questions that they had were answered and I believe that there is a different view towards the vaccine now. I feel that they have more information, they are better informed and I am certain that they will go back to their communities and encourage the villagers to take their vaccine. Already I got a report yesterday that there was one particular community where we saw a great increase in the number of people who were being vaccinated. So I’m certain that the sessions are going to be very helpful.”
Eighty-two community leaders from thirty-three villages in rural Toledo participated in the sessions.