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St Lucia cautions against increased sexually transmitted infections after the carnival season

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Saint Lucia Carnival is in full swing prompting the Ministry of Health (MOH) to issue cautions against “increased sexually transmitted infections after the carnival season” while providing “guidance to the public to reduce the possible negative health implications during and after the carnival season.”

“Annually we note increases in sexually transmitted infections after the carnival season. We advise against unsafe sexual practices. The Ministry of Health will be donating condoms to carnival bands and planning associations to ensure they are available to revellers. Condoms are available at the Infectious Disease Unit on the first floor of the Sir Stanislaus James Building on the Waterfront to the carnival bands and at the various Wellness Centers free of charge to the public,” adding. “The MOH would like the public to enjoy the carnival season responsibly and keep healthy during and after the season,” reports MOH on July 9, 2024.

Credit: https://carnivalsaintlucia.com/

Saint Lucia comes alive from July 1-17 to the sound of Dennery segment, soca, calypso, and steelpan permeating through the streets. Fete from dawn till nightfall with the best in local, regional, and international artists, to gear up for the road. Our culture goes on full parade, with the wit of ole mas, to the colour and splendor of our costumes. There’s something for everyone. Saint Lucia Carnival is an experience. It’s pure culture, pure vaval, pure vibe, says Carnival Saint Lucia.com

According to the MOH: “During this season there is a tendency for participants to let their guard down on many different levels. It is important that precaution is taken to ensure safety for all at this time:

  • We advise that persons look out for each other during the events especially those during the night. Avoid dark isolated areas when going to and from events. Reduce opportunities for personal injury and violation.
  • Avoid dehydration by reducing exposure time in the direct sunlight, wearing of sunblock and sunscreen and increased water intake – Stay Hydrated! This is important during high level activities. Special consideration must be given to the elderly, young children and those with chronic health conditions who are particularly prone to dehydration.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake as this also leads to dehydration, injuries, violence and road fatalities when persons drive under the influence. Timely eating is also advised. There are limited Intensive care beds available at the hospitals and usually during this period we note increase patient flow in the Accident and Emergency Department at the Hospital. The MOH informs the general public of the low blood supply at the blood bank at this time. We urge you, if possible to make an urgent blood donation at the blood bank or the various collection sites.
  • Sleep deprivation and exhaustion also leads to increased motor vehicle accidents as persons may fall asleep while driving. Ensure you get sufficient rest between events or appoint a designated driver if you feel tired or sleepy.
  • The majority of the planned activities are in open spaces and on evenings, we are in the rainy season and we normally note increases in mosquito indices at this time. The public is advised to take the necessary precaution and use insect repellants to reduce mosquito bites.

The MOH has consistently shown that it has no policy command, let alone direction and selective public service announcements.

The Carnival celebration commenced July 1-17. MOH health tips were published on July 9. Counterproductive or efficiency on the part of the MOH, one may define?

Lacking substance, content, real-time objective, data and transparency for any actionable interventions, the MOH may find it a public health hazard, with multiple vectors, currently undocumented from hurricane Beryl compromising the Soufriere Cemetary and surroundings.

There has been no caution and advisory on this health hazard! 

A report on the way forward would be helpful and informative to digest, compounded with post-carnival celebrations findings.

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