Young People, Agents of Change: Ministry of Health and Wellness has created a programme to involve the younger cohort of Jamaica in helping to stop the spread of the virus. These appointees will be the driving force in bringing awareness about and protecting the more vulnerable members of the society.
The programme which is called the COVID-19 Youth Leader Response Programme has made approximately 50 youth leaders from across the island agents of change.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton says though death rate is higher in the older population, statistics have shown that the younger people are the carriers of the virus.
He says a good mitigation strategy may be convincing young people to be protectors of the at risk rather than potential super spreaders.
The Youth Programme which was created by the Ministry of Health and Wellness is targeting young people ages 14 to 35 from rural and urban Jamaica.
The idea of this programme is to recruit, sensitize and to deploy change agents across the community to help heal the country from the virus.
Tufton says Members of Parliament will be engaged to nominate key youth leaders to get them involved in the movement.
Additionally, National Epidemiologist, Dr. Karen Webster Kerr says though our countries COVID-19 statistic may be lower when compared to other countries, citizens should not get complacent.
Tufton agreed to that comment and added that citizens are to be mindful that a feature of the virus is having a second wave and we should try as much as possible to maintain all protocols.
The topic of mental health among young people was also covered. Tufton says though youths are perceived to be stronger in combating the virus, their mental health should not be overlooked.
Dr. Abbigail Harrison, Consultant Paediatrician and Adolescent Specialist says young people are prone to experiencing depressive symptoms while not knowing what is coming next.
She says younger people also deal with the stress of being isolated and not being able to participate in sporting events and other means of entertainment.
Harrison concludes that everyone should be considerate and respectful of each others health both mentally and physically.
CVM LIVE’s Paige Dixon brings this story: