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Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs

Assessment of Community Served by the Health Centre


A community assessment is conducted to understand problems facing community
members, identify community strengths, weaknesses and resources that are available and
accessible within and outside of the community.
The Community of Palm Grove Court is a new subdivision in the established community
of Oak Glades. Majority of the residents have been living there for five (5) years or more. Over
the years, there have been changes as the Oak Glades health center has recently been opened to
the public to accommodate residents. Before, the residents had to travel to Hagley Park health
center or Maxfield Park to receive health care. There has also been an increase in crime and
violence. The community consists of both old and young persons, Single Parent families and
Common Law unions. The population of the community is homogenous with persons of African
descent. Christianity is the dominant religion as churches are situated in the community.
The community of Oak Glades is of a clean appearance and the roadways are free of
garbage. The air quality is clean and the houses are relatively spaced from each other. A number
of small cook shops are located in the community and it is supplied with safe water from the
National Water Commission (NWC). Some of the residents reported being diagnosed with one or
more of the non-communicable diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease etc.) From
observations during the clinical experience it was noticed that some residents contracted one or
more of the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs) and were treated. Additionally several of the
children suffer from the respiratory illness asthma. The community is served by the newly
opened Oak Glades health center. The residents utilize the Kingston Public Hospital, nursing
homes, social service facilities, Three miles police station, Denham Town fire station and the

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


Bellevue Hospital which is outside the community however, it is accessible. There are no
industries or facilities for employment in the community therefore majority of the population is
unemployed. However, there are several grocery corner shops and small cook shops where
residents earn a living. Additionally, some residents reported juggling in downtown Kingston
to earn an income.
Transportation is safe as persons get around via public transportation such as JUTC, taxis
and mini buses as well as private transportation. Sidewalks are visible and are utilized by
pedestrians and persons with disabilities in wheelchair. For persons who dont own a wheelchair
residents reported assisting them. The political party with which the Oak Glades community is
affiliated is The Peoples National Party (PNP). There is an elected mayor and residents are
involved in decision making at the local government unit. In addition there is a PNP office
situated opposite the Oak Glades health center where residents frequently visit to voice their
concerns. A community center is in close proximity to the PNP office where people gather for
meetings etc. Residents are informed of current issues via the print (Gleaner, Observer) and
electronic media (Television, Radio).
There are two early childhood schools in the community which function under the
Ministry of Education. There are Physical Education sessions where the children play and
interact. There are no school nurses as the health center is in close proximity to these schools.
Primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are available and assessable outside the community.
Children and youths residing in the community play in the yards of their homes, or at the
community center. Football is played at the Browns Land Community football field. Residents
reported that they believe that their community is a good place to reside and has a clean
environment. The strength of this community is the unity of the citizens. They reported that on

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


public holidays such as Emancipation or Heroes Day they have regular cook outs in the
community where the interact and share with eachother. Additionally residents are currently
working on a community development project to construct a football field and basketball court in
the community. The weakness of the community is the level or crime and violence.
As human beings we are able to adapt to our environments and if adaptation is not
possible, measures are often taken to improve the environment to make it suitable. Residents of
the Oak Glades community are faced with frequent water lock-offs and mosquito infestation.
These two factors will have a direct impact on the health of the residents, thus being
knowledgeable of such, precautionary measures should be implemented and the correct nursing
intervention made to ensure their health and well-being is maintained.
Community Strategies Employed by Citizens
Upon visiting the Oak Glades Community and interacting with residents of the
community, many of them highlighted two major problems that were directly affecting them.
These two problems include that of frequent water lock-offs that persist for months and secondly
the problem of mosquito infestation. Many of the residents expressed their discomfort with the
problems mentioned and have decided to implement strategies to address these issues that are
pertinent to their welfare. Some of the strategies that these residents of Oak Glades have
implemented will be discussed in details:
Frequent water lock-offs
Upon interviewing community members, the major measures were highlighted. Some of
which include both direct and indirect ways of addressing the problem. These measures include:

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


1. Collecting and storing water in buckets and bottles- Residents explained that they
would have to acquire water from neighbouring communities and store it via such
mediums to ensure that the basic domestic needs of their households were met.
2. Decreasing the amount of water used to perform duties- Upon talking to some
residents they explained that they have to implement measures of decreasing the
amount of water used to perform domestic duties and even if the amount of water
was not decreased; after using the water to complete tasks, it would also be used to
complete other tasks. E.g. After washing the dishes, water used to rinse them would
be used to flush toilets or water plants.
3. Holding community meeting with members of parliament-According to residents,
they have also taken the initiative to inform their political representatives of the
problem, this is done through community meetings in which residents ensure their
concerns about the matter are heard and ways for handling the problem instigated.
E.g. providing a water truck to supply the community twice per week with water.
Mosquito Infestation
From interviewing members of the community a common concern was the infestation of
mosquitoes. Many of the residents expressed annoyance at the problem while others were
tolerant. However, residents have implemented strategies to decrease the extent to which they are
affected by this problem. Some of these strategies are discussed below.
1. Proper storage of water- Water storage containers may be a habitat for
mosquitoes. Some residents also highlighted the importance of storing water in
lock-tight containers.

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


2. Installing meshes- Some residents have meshed their doors and windows. These
meshes are made by individuals within the community as a means of control for
the vectors and at the same time providing needed ventilation.
3. Using Insect sprays/ repellants- Residents reported using insect sprays and
(destroyers) to control mosquito infestation.
4. Wearing protective clothing- By wearing protective clothing e.g. long shirts and
pants, residents seek to control the impact that the mosquitoes have on them
personally as such clothing provides a means of protection against mosquito
bites.
Specific Community Health Issues/Problems
In assessing the community two health problems were identified. These are Mosquito
Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs.
Problem: Frequent water lock-offs and mosquito infestation.
Diagnosis: Risk of exposure to infectious agents and diseases.
Risk to Community: Due to the mosquito infestation and frequent water lock-offs in the
community all residents are exposed to contracting vector (mosquito) borne diseases, water
borne diseases and infectious diseases faecal orally.
Persons affected: All persons working, living in and around the community as well as those
assessing the surroundings.
Community Factors: Improper drainage system. Malfunctioning water pump and pipes.
Community leader is ineffective in solving problems. Lack of information and communication
among community members.
Mosquito Infestation

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


Dengue Fever- Dengue fever are viral diseases transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Dengue viruses spread to humans by the bite of female mosquitoes. These mosquitoes acquire
the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. The virus circulates in the blood of
infected humans for 2 7 days leading to fever. Dengue presents with fever, rash, severe
headache, pain behind the eyes, pain in the joints and muscles.
Malaria- According to the World Health Organization (2013), malaria is caused by a parasite
called plasmodium. These parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles
mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her unborn baby during or
before delivery. The virus can also be transmitted via blood transfusion. General symptoms
include fever, chills, headache, muscle pains, and, in some cases, skin disorders such as cold
sores, hives, or a rash.
Frequent water lock-offs
On assessing the community it was observed that quite a number of individuals came to
the health center with complaints of diarrhea and vomiting which are common symptoms of
gastrointestinal infections.
Diarrhoea, Vomiting and Dehydration- Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of three or more
loose or liquid stools per day. Diarrhea and vomiting are caused by viruses such as the
rotaviruses and bacteria such as salmonella or shigella. Infection is spread through contaminated
food or drinking-water, or from person-to-person as a result of poor hygiene. Vomiting is the
ejection of matter from the stomach through the mouth. Vomiting often accompanies diarrhoea
which often results in dehydration. Dehydration occurs when water and electrolytes (sodium,
chloride, potassium and bicarbonate) are lost through liquid stools and vomit.

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs


Hand Foot and Mouth Disease - Hand, foot, and mouth disease, is a contagious illness caused
by different viruses. Infants and children younger than 5 years are more likely to get this disease.
However, older children and adults can also contract the disease. Jamaica has had outbreaks of
this disease in 2012 with over 22 cases in KSA. Symptoms usually begin with a fever, reduced
appetite, sore throat. Painful sores, rash and blisters can develop in the mouth. A skin rash with
flat red spots may also develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. This can
sometimes occur on the knees, elbows, and buttocks as well.

Mosquito Infestation and Frequent Water lock-offs