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          Improving Lives Through Education. The power of education to positively transform life paths and lay the foundation for personal and national success is widely known. The foundation provides support to children and youth to access and fully maximize educational opportunities through grants, scholarships and internships. The Foundation also aids the transition process into the world of work through its mentorship programme. Here MMS employees volunteer as mentors to encourage and provide guidance to those who need it.

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Vaccination in Jamaica

After spending over a year in a global pandemic, Jamaica now has access to life saving Covid – 19 Vaccines. We must play our part in the continuous health of our nation and get Vaccinated as soon as we can.

People often have questions as it relates to vaccines and why they should take them.

Here are some Vax Facts

See the list below to find out which vaccination site is closest to you and make your appointment today

Considerations for Wearing Masks – Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
  • Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).

Evidence for effectiveness of masks

Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain. CDC’s recommendations for masks will be updated as new scientific evidence becomes available.

Who Should Not Wear a Mask

Masks should not be worn by:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

Feasibility and Adaptations

CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. In some situations, wearing a mask may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a mask or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one.

For example,

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing—or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear masks if they rely on lipreading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear mask. If a clear mask isn’t available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks your lips.
  • Some people, such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities, may have challenges wearing a mask. They should consult with their healthcare provider for advice about wearing masks.
  • Younger children (e.g., preschool or early elementary aged) may be unable to wear a mask properly, particularly for an extended period of time. Wearing of masks may be prioritized at times when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (e.g., during carpool drop off or pick up, or when standing in line at school). Ensuring proper mask size and fit and providing children with frequent reminders and education on the importance and proper wear of masks may help address these issues.
  • People should not wear masks while engaged in activities that may cause the mask to become wet, like when swimming at the beach or pool. A wet mask may make it difficult to breathe. For activities like swimming, it is particularly important to maintain physical distance from others when in the water.
  • People who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a mask if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a mask, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.
  • People who work in a setting where masks may increase the risk of heat-related illness or cause safety concerns due to introduction of a hazard (for instance, straps getting caught in machinery) may consult with an occupational safety and health professional to determine the appropriate mask for their setting. Outdoor workers may prioritize use of masks when in close contact with other people, like during group travel or shift meetings, and remove masks when social distancing is possible. Find more information here and below.

Masks are a critical preventive measure and are most essential in times when social distancing is difficult. If masks cannot be used, make sure to take other measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, including social distancing, frequent hand washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents

Face Shields

  • A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.
  • However, wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation for some people for example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing—or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired. Here are some considerations for individuals who must wear a face shield instead of a mask:
    • Although evidence on face shields is limited, the available data suggest that the following face shields may provide better source control than others:
      • Face shields that wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin.
      • Hooded face shields.
    • Face shield wearers should wash their hands before and after removing the face shield and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.
    • Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single use and disposed of according to manufacturer instructions.
    • Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use according to manufacturer instructions or by following CDC face shield cleaning instructions .
    • Plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended.

Surgical Masks

Masks are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. Masks also are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where surgical masks or respirators are recommended or required and available.

Handling and Preparing food – Cleaning and hygiene tips to protect against COVID-19


Handling and preparing food

While at present there is no evidence of people catching the COVID-19 virus from food or food packaging, it may be possible that people can become infected by touching a surface or object contaminated by the virus and then touching their face.

The greater risk comes from being in close contact with other people while outside food shopping or receiving a food delivery (as receiving any delivery in areas with local transmission). As always, good hygiene is important when handling food to prevent any food-borne illnesses.

Food packaging and handling precautions

  • Remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose into a waste bin with a lid.
  • Remove food from take-out containers, place on a clean plate and dispose of the container.
  • Packaging like cans can be wiped clean with a disinfectant before being opened or stored.
  • Wash unpackaged produce, such as fruit and vegetables, thoroughly under running water.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.

General food hygiene tips

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing any food.
  • Use separate chopping boards to prepare uncooked meat and fish.
  • Cook food to the recommended temperature.
  • Where possible, keep perishable items refrigerated or frozen, and pay attention to product expiry dates.
  • Aim to recycle or dispose of food waste and packaging in an appropriate and sanitary manner, avoiding build-up of refuse which could attract pests.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and make sure your children do the same.
  • Always use clean utensils and plates.

Personal Hygiene – Cleaning and hygiene tips to protect against COVID-19

Personal hygiene

Simple hygiene measures can help protect your family’s health and everyone else’s.

Don’t touch your face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately.

Keep your distance

Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

Wash, wash, wash your hands

Yes, you’re hearing it everywhere, because it’s the best line of defence. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds.

An easy way to time it with your children is by singing the full happy birthday song, twice.

Make sure to wash hands after you blow your nose, sneeze into a tissue, use the restroom, when you leave and return to your home, before preparing or eating food, applying make-up, handling contact lenses etc.

If using a hand sanitizer ensure that it contains at least 60 per cent alcohol, ensure coverage on all parts of the hands and rub hands together for 20-30 seconds until hands feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

Did you know? Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses — as long as you use soap and wash your hands the right way!

Cleaning Clothes- Cleaning and hygiene tips to protect against COVID-19

Cleaning clothes

It is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, but many items of clothing have plastic and metal elements on which it might live for a few hours to several days.

Exercise caution and common sense. Good practices to consider include removing your shoes when you enter your home and changing into clean clothes when you return home after being in crowded places, and washing your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.

Doing laundry at home

Clean bed sheets, towels and clothes regularly.

  • Don’t shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
  • Launder items with soap or detergent, using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely — both steps help to kill the virus.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.
  • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag and hamper as well. Consider storing laundry in disposable bags.

Doing laundry outside your home

If you need to use laundry facilities outside of your home, take sensible precautions:

  • Prepare laundry before leaving your home to help minimize the amount of time you spend outside.
  • Try to go at a time when there are fewer people.
  • Maintain physical distance to other people.
  • Wear disposable gloves if available, disinfect the surfaces of all machines you use and don’t touch your face.
  • For indoor laundry facilities, wait outside for your laundry to finish if you can.
  • Fold your laundry at home.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.
  • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag/ hamper as well. Consider storing laundry in disposable bags.

If you don’t have access to laundry facilities, hand wash your clothes at home with soap or detergent and the warmest appropriate water.

Your Home and You- Cleaning and hygiene tips to help keep the COVID-19 virus out of your home

Cleaning around the home

Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home regularly is an important precaution to lower the risk of infection.

Follow cleaning product instructions for safe and effective use, including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation.

Some national authorities have made lists of recommended products for use against the COVID-19 virus.

High-touch surfaces to clean and disinfect

Every home is different, but common high-touch surfaces include: Door handles, tables, chairs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches, mobile phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, remote controls, game controllers and favourite toys.

What to use to clean and disinfect

If a surface is dirty, first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (of around 70 per cent) or bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended.

In many places it can be difficult to find disinfectant sprays and wipes. In such cases, continue to clean with soap and water. Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used on some surfaces.

How to disinfect

It’s important not to wipe cleaning solutions off as soon as you’ve applied it to a surface. Many disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective. Always read the directions to make sure you’re using the products as recommended and to avoid damaging sensitive items such as mobile phones and other electronic devices. Consider using wipeable covers for electronics.

Source: Unicef

Before the Storm

  • Listen to weather updates on local stations
  • Check your Disaster Supply Kit. Obtain any needed or out-dated items.
  • Refill prescriptions. Maintain a supply during the storm season.
  • Get cash. With no power, banks may be closed, checks and credit cards may not be accepted and ATMs will not be operational.
  • Fill you cars/trucks gas tank and check oil, water and tires.
  • Fill additional gas cans for your generators
  • Protect your windows and glass doors. Brace double entry and gages doors at the top and bottom.
  • Clear yard of potential flying debris (lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles, trash cans, etc)
  • Have charcoal and wooden matches for charcoal grills, propane for gas grills
  • Leave as soon as you can. Do not get on congested evacuation routes and try to outrun the storm.


If you evacuate:

  • Listen to your local radio and television stations for emergency broadcasts. If ordered to evacuate, you must do so immediately.
  • Take your Disaster Supply Kit
  • Take important papers with you, including your driver’s license, special medical information, insurance policies and property inventories
  • Let relatives, friends and/or neighbors know where you are going.
  • Turn off electricity, water and gas
  • Lock all windows and doors


If you can safely stay home:

  • Make sure your windows are protected and home is secured.
  • Offer your home as shelter to relatives or friends who live in vulnerable areas or mobile homes
  • Clean containers for drinking water and you bathtub for storing clean water. Remember: 3 gallons per persons per day for all uses.
    • Line the tub with plastic sheeting or clean shower curtains
    • Caulk the drain with silicone caulking (it will hold water for weeks and cleans up easily when dry)
  • Check your Disaster Supply Kit. Obtain any needed or out-dated items.
  • Don’t forget to have a non-electric can opener.
  • During the storm, stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Find a safe area of your home (interior reinforced room, closet or bathroom on the lower floor)
  • Wait for the official word that the danger is over. Don’t be fooled by the storm’s calm “eye”.
  • If you lose power, turn off major appliances (air conditioner, water heater, computers, all TV, etc) to reduce damage
  • If flooding threatens you home, turn off electricity at the main breakers.

Making a Disaster Supply Kit

The most important tool for emergency preparedness is a Disaster Supply Kit. Below are some of the basic items to have in the kit. Store the items in a water-resistant container and replenish as necessary. Check and replenish as necessary the out-dated items
  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-perishable/special dietary foods
  • Drinking water: 3 gal/per person/per day for 2 weeks
  • Flashlights and batteries for each member of the family
  • Portable radio and batteries
  • First aid book and kit
    • bandages
    • antiseptic
    • tape
    • compresses
    • non-aspirin pain reliever
    • anti-diarrhea medication
  • Mosquito repellent and citronella candles
  • Coolers (one for food and the other for ice)
  • Plastic tarp for roof/window repair, screening, tools, nails
  • Water purification kit (tablets, plain chlorine and iodine)
  • Infant necessities (medicine, sterile water, diapers, ready formula, bottles)
  • Clean up supplies (mop, buckets, towels, disinfectant)
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Extra batteries for portable TV, lamps
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, pre-moistened towelettes
If you evacuate, you should take:

  • Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags or air mattresses
  • Extra clothing, shoes, eyeglasses
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc)
  • Quiet games, books, playing cards and favorite toys for children
  • Food and water for shelter
  • Important papers (driver’s license, special medication information, insurance policies and property inventories)

Hurricane Season Preparedness Tips

At the start of the Hurricane Season

Check thoroughly the roof of your house, hurricane shutters, hooks and latches and repair where necessary.

Make sure that galvanized sheeting on the roof of your house is properly fastened.

Keep in stock extra plastic bags and sheets of plastic. Plastic is essential to prevent important documents, paintings, equipment and furniture from getting wet.

Keep handy a supply of lumber, plywood, timber, etc. for battening down purposes.

Trim trees that touch power lines or hang over the house and other buildings.

Make sure that emergency cooking facilities such as coal stoves are in good working condition as these may be necessary.

Make sure you have a supply of kerosene and coal. Keep coal dry by wrapping in a plastic bag or other waterproof material.

Latch down securely all small buildings in the yard such as outdoor kitchens, pit latrines, tool sheds, barns, etc.

Store extra food, especially things that can be eaten without cooking or which need very little preparation. Electricity may be off during a hurricane, leaving you without refrigeration.

Place emergency food supply in a waterproof container and store in a closed box, cupboard or trunk.

Make sure you have emergency equipment in your home. These include water boots, raincoats, flashlights, batteries, portable radio, kerosene lamps and matches.

Have simple first-aid equipment such as iodine, bandages, eye lotion, etc. at home.

Have a family disaster plan.

Know your evacuation route

Know the nearest shelters and other critical facilities such as police station and health centers.

Source: https://odpem.org.jm/

Healthy Parenting – COVID-19