Citizens urged to ensure water safety and personal hygiene in light of flooding


flood [] – In light of the increased rainfall and subsequent  flooding in Georgetown and surrounding areas, the Ministry of Health is advising the general public to pay special attention to water safety and personal hygiene.

·        If you are living in flooded areas, stay out of the water as much as possible, as it can greatly reduce your chances of contracting diseases such as skin infections, Leptospirosis, Diarrheal diseases and other water-borne diseases.

·        Keep children out of water as they are at risk of contracting diseases

·        If you must go into the water, use protective foot wear such as long booths.  Prepare a foot bath of ½ cup of bleach to 1 bucket of water and wash your feet before entering the house, then apply Vaseline or oil to your skin as it forms a barrier and provides some protection from the dirty water.

·        During rainfall you may notice an increase in mosquitoes.  Protect yourself and family against mosquitoes by sleeping under mosquito nets, use mosquito repellents and coils and cover storage containers to reduce breeding sites.

·        Use safe water for drinking, cooking and brushing your teeth, and for making ice and drinks.  Safe water is water treated with bleach (PUR, Chlorosol) or boiled or bottled water.

·        Keep food separate, protected from the flood water.

·        Throw away all food that has been in contact with flood waters.

·        Wash all fruits and vegetables with treated water and peel before eating.

·        Keep all food items and drinking water in sealed containers

·        Cook food thoroughly.

·        Wash hands thoroughly with soap and safe water or use hand sanitizers, especially before and after eating meals, after going to the toilet or latrine and taking care of the children.

·        Use the toilet or latrine and dispose baby’s diapers properly.  Do not mess or let feces get into the water.

·        Keep rubbish bins closed

·        Watch out for animals.  Snakes and centipedes that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.  Use a pole or a stick to poke and turn items over and scare them away.

·        If your home was seriously affected by flood water and you suspect electrical wiring have been damaged, have it checked by a qualified person before turning the main electrical switch.

·        Know the location of the main electrical breakers and the gas and water valves in your home and ensure path is clear access them easily so that you can shut them off in emergencies.

·        Turn of the main electrical switch and other utilities

·        Place important documents and valuables in plastic and store them in a safe place.

·        In case of illness please visit the Georgetown Public Hospital or the nearest health center.



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