Scotland health board: Kids need flu shots

By: By Beth Lawrence -
Benita Mullis swears in new Health Board member nurse Nicole Monroe.

LAURINBURG —More Scotland County children need to get immunized for influenza, officials told members of the county Board of Health this week.

Child Health Nurse Maria Roberts said parents in the county were being encouraged to get their children vaccinated against flu, but few did. The department did not provide statistics on how many flu shots were administered this year compared to previous years.

“There is still a fear that the flu vaccine causes the flu,” Roberts said. “We can try to educate [parents], but ultimately it’s their decision.”

Kathie Cox, a health educator with the county Health Department, said getting the flu shot for children is extremely important.

“Please, go ahead and get a shot to be on the safe side because [flu] can be deadly especially for priority populations like children, older adults and pregnant women,” Cox said. “If you have questions, call us we can answer them.”

The board also discussed filling several positions left vacant at the Health Department.

One of the significant vacancies, officials said, is a nurse practitioner. The department has not seen any new maternal health patients since mid-November due to losing the nurse practitioner who handled those cases.

The department is currently contracted with an individual as a part-time nurse practitioner who is training with Dr. Linda Mitchell-Frye’s office to qualify to handle maternity care, according to Health Director Kristen Patterson.

The Health Department has also moved forward with hiring a doctor to oversee medical care. Patterson said a job offer has been extended to the physician. A family nurse practitioner is also expected to start on a temporary basis and be hired permanently pending verification of credentials.

It was also announced this week, that the Health Department will hold a Minority Diabetes Health fair in February for minorities who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

In other business, the board voted to accept a $4,254 grant from the state to be used by the Family Planning Clinic and approved a provision of $3,000 from the state to be used by the STD Clinic.

The board also approved a new animal control ordinance that removes provisions for the care and housing of livestock due to the passage of House Bill 553 which took away local animal control’s ability to mandate housing requirements and quality of care for livestock.

The new county animal control ordinance also set up new fine schedules for violators of local laws pertaining to animals. The new ordinance allows violators to pay fines at the Health Department.

Health officials also swore in Nurse Nicole Monroe to representing the nursing profession on the board.

Benita Mullis swears in new Health Board member nurse Nicole Monroe. Mullis swears in new Health Board member nurse Nicole Monroe.

By Beth Lawrence

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169