Students urged to consider becoming public health inspectors

ST JAMES, Jamaica— Immediate Past President of the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI), Karen Brown, is encouraging more young people to consider a career as a Public Health Inspector (PHI).

Speaking to students at the St Ann’s Bay Primary School in St Ann on Tuesday Brown said that PHIs contribute significantly to sustainable development by safeguarding the health and safety of the nation.

She described the profession as a “humanitarian job”, noting that it takes into account the health of an entire population, rather than focusing on health at an individual level.

Brown said that PHIs monitor public facilities and private businesses to ensure that they are in compliance with local and international standards for health and safety.

“We do monitor water quality to ensure that the water that you drink is safe. We also do meat inspection. A lot of people consume meat, and of course, if the meat is not safe, then that can result in ill health,” she pointed out.

“Public health inspectors are also involved in the monitoring of the environment to ensure that there are no ill health conditions. So there are many, many more duties that are performed by public health inspectors, and so I know that it is a very awesome job… a career that you can think of pursuing in the future,” she said.

Brown noted that PHIs have been playing a critical role in controlling the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We have been doing a lot in terms of trying to help to contain the pandemic. We have been combating dengue fever; that is why we currently are not experiencing an outbreak,” she said.

Brown pledged to use her position as part of the Executive Council of the JAPHI to advocate for more support for the training of PHIs.

She informed that training is offered at the University of Technology (UTECH) over four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

There are some 450 PHIs employed across the island.

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