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publicToday public officers from across the country celebrated Public Service day under the theme Striving for ExcellencePromoting Good Governance…Contributing to Our Nations Wealth through Our Public Service. Each year Public Service Day is celebrated on June 23 with the objective of honoring our public officers. The event showcases the role of professionalism and the visibility of Public Service and also promotes the value and virtue of service to the community. Here in Orange Walk Public Service Day was celebrated with an open day held by each Governmental Department. While the Orange Walk Post Office awarded their top employee other departments including the Northern Regional Hospital disseminated important information to the public.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

Today a number of departments that make up the Northern Regional Hospital including BFLA and HECOPAB joined hands in disseminating important information to the general public. The open day took place in commemoration of Public Service Day celebrated under the theme “Striving for Excellence…Promoting Good Governance…Contributing to Our Nation’s Wealth through Our Public Service”.

While the Vector Control Department distributed flyers about the importance of keeping yards clean and HECOBAB gave out vitamins, the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Department conducted free HIV testing. But the test was not done the usual way and results were given in less than three minutes. According to Veronica Ortega the new method of testing for HIV is easier and less painful.

Veronica Ortega- VCT

“The difference is that before with the 20 minutes test it is the same rapid test but with the finger stick we try to avoid as much injury or trauma to the patient especially in the blood drying. We use to do it before with the actual sampling and from the serum we do the testing but now with the chest buffer that is available through the Ministry of Health we just need a drop of blood and chest buffer does the rest of the work. It is just like a pregnancy test it should give you the same results that usual blood testing through the serum would give us. It has been tested before and proven to be very accurate and it takes about three minutes to get your results.”

So what was my result? I’m happy and proud to say I’m HIV free.

Veronica Ortega- VCT

“They have two windows in the testing strip, the patient and the control window every test that I do I should ensure that there is bar in the control window because this indicates to me that this strip is working it is reliable and it will give me and accurate and correct result. The patient window that is what tells me if the patient is negative or positive in your case you are negative there is no bar there it is clean and the control bar is there. When a person is positive there will be a bar in the patient plus the control bar so it is double.”

And while BFLA was not providing free mammograms or pap smears today their booth was one most visited by women.

Emiliana Osario – B.F.L.A.

“Most of the areas that we have here today are giving information on pap smear screening, manual breast exams, HIV, menopause and whatever other information women and adults need here and want to know. The public has responded great from early this morning they have been coming in and we plan to be here until 2:00pm.”

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

“What is the section that we see women are asking more questions about?”

Emiliana Osario – B.F.L.A.

“Ok they are interested in knowing what services are offered here at the BFLA which is the pap smear screening and new also have the specialist area where you can come in for a colonoscopy. Women are also interested in doing their breast exam and HIV testing.”

The open day closed at 2:00pm.

Other Governmental Departments such as Treasury and Lands also shared with the public the type of services offered.

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