A training for port personnel of the Hagnaya Port was conducted last November 19, 2020 in the covered court in Hagnaya, San Remigio, Cebu.
The participants included two members of the Philippine Coast Guard in the Hagnaya Sub-station, five personnel of the local government unit of San Remigio working in the Hagnaya Port and four crew members of the Super Shuttle Ferry and Island Shipping Lines. A total of 11 port personnel were present.
The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. organized the training as part of the project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on COVID-19 response.
Since ports are receiving ends of inbound and outbound passengers, there is a risk of them being places of COVID-19 transmission. The coast guards and personnel working in the ports thus play a very essential role in ensuring a very minimal and if possible, no risk at all, of transmission of the virus among people if there happens to be a positive case in the port, who may also be asymptomatic. Thus, the port people need to review again the basic facts of transmission of the virus, its symptoms and how to control its spread. Since they may be involved in certain circumstances when they have to explain to people matters related with the virus and its effect on people’s lives, there is a need for them to learn about risk communication and community engagement.
VPHCS staff Crescenciana Labitad discussed about infection prevention and control (IPC) followed by VPHCS staff Dr. Erlinda Posadas on risk communication and community engagement (RCCE).
The participants shared their experiences that they have always been practicing the basic health protocols on infection prevention and control such as wearing their face masks and handwashing and social distancing, and that they also remind the passengers in the ports to do so. There have been no recent reports of COVID-19 cases in San Remigio, they said. In the ships, passengers also sit one seat apart and the ships are 50 percent seating capacity only. Since they are in contact with passengers and cargo crew people going to Bantayan Island and coming from the Island, they have very important task to ensure that the passengers are not carriers of the virus. They too have to be models of the health protocols more so since they are government personnel. They cannot be complacent about infection prevention and control. Regarding communication to different types of audiences and different circumstances about COVID-19, the port personnel were thankful that they were given the tips about effective communication because they will come in useful one of these days, including in situations and places outside the port.
The participants said that they will share what they have learned in the training to other people who will find the knowledge useful. As public servants, they will continue to be models and vanguards of infection prevention and control to keep the virus away at all times.
The participants also expressed their appreciation for the training since it will enhance their knowledge on how to ensure that departing and arriving passengers will practice always the minimum health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of face masks, and hand hygiene.