Prevention better than cure

Creating a healthy environment often requires a proactive approach. Melville City Council in WA believes that prevention is better than cure, thereby saving the community costly medical, nursing and hospital services.

With this in mind Council has embarked on an extensive program to ensure the health of its citizens through a three pronged approach.

Firstly, it has introduced its own training course in Food Hygiene and Safety. Accredited by the Skills Standard and Accreditation Board. The course can be completed via a number of methods offering flexibility to those with other commitments. All successful participants receive a certificate to mark their completion of the course.

The seminar course is offered free to local food premises, which pay for the service as part of their business registration. While basic minimum standards of hygiene in food preparation and handling are compulsory by law, the course offers a means for food handlers to learn practical, safe and efficient methods of ensuring the standard of hygiene in the food they serve.

Secondly, Council has produced a preventative health care guide specifically for women. Presented in three languages, it includes screening programs and other services available to help with menopause, osteoporosis cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Feedback has indicated that people find the widely distributed guide highly useful for its simplicity and comprehensiveness. Early detection of these problems can lead to more effective treatment and fewer disabling side effects.

Finally, in an initiative which may seem obvious and simple but has far reaching effects, Melville has developed a colourful poster that educates young children about the importance of basic hygiene such as washing their hands before meals.

“We have been telling children to wash their hands but with no visible reminders they often forget,” said Chief Executive Officer John McNally.

“It isn’t necessary to be able to read to understand the message of the posters so they can reach our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”

The posters have proved very popular and can be purchased from Melville City Council.

For further information telephone Janet Armarego, Environmental Health Officer,
on (09) 364 0622.