THE South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) is now providing the tetanus vaccine for scrap metal workers and other at risk groups at three health centres in Kingston and St Andrew.
Workers can now visit the Seaview Gardens, Hagley Park and Duhaney Park Health centres between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to be immunised free of cost.
Dr Heather Reid Jones, regional technical director at SERHA explained that these health centres were selected as a part of SEHRA’s drive to protect workers who are at risk of contracting tetanus, which is more commonly known as ‘lock jaw’. This drive began during the recent commemoration of Vaccination Week of the Americas and will continue until the end of June.
“We are targeting people who handle scrap metal because they are particularly at risk for exposure to tetanus by the nature of their occupation. However, fisherfolk, solid waste management workers and farmers are also vulnerable to tetanus and are encouraged to get immunised,” she said. “This disease often results in death.”
Tetanus is an infectious disease which causes a person’s muscles to contract, making the body stiff. In severe cases, the muscles used to breathe can spasm, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs that may possibly lead to death. Tetanus is spread through infected soil or dung entering a wound from contaminated objects such a rusty metals.