The Ministry of Health has spent twenty-two ($22 million) dollars since October 2014 on public education and communication in the preparedness and response phase of the Ebola Integrated Response Strategy.
Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson made the disclosure today, March 17, 2015 during the promotional display of the JUTC Bus wraps at the Halfway Tree Transportation Centre.
Dr. Ferguson said the Ministry has implemented a six month public education and communication campaign to promote specific behaviours that reduce disease risk and protect the health of Jamaicans.
“Going forward we will embark on a series of public education programmes in an effort to promote effective health preventive and protective messages in light of the fact that we have received a significant increase in budgetary allocation for the new financial year for health promotion and education,” Dr. Ferguson stated.
Among the communication activities carried out over the six months period was the utilization of JUTC Bus wraps. The messages to educate the population on taking simple steps to prevent the spread of diseases were placed on two buses in the JUTC fleet on the most popular routes. Three internal panel messages were also placed on three buses in the JUTC fleet. In addition, two billboards were mounted in Portmore, St. Catherine on the Dyke Road and in Aqualta Vale, St. Mary.
Information, education and communication material were developed and distributed across the island, town hall meetings were conducted and two sets of electronic and print media campaigns were undertaken and various community, workplace and school centred education sessions were done. Training was also done with several groups to assist with spreading education messages to communities and other groups.
Dr. Ferguson also thanked National Outdoor Advertising and Caledonia Outdoor Advertising Company for their contribution in the Ebola Preparedness communication campaign.