Plant protection head assures students’ safety in snail collection

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The head of the Plant Protection Unit said that no harm will come to students who opt to conduct research on the Giant African Snail and its impact on the country’s agricultural sector as part of their School Based Assesments (SBAs).
Dr Janil Gore Francis said students who opt to engage in collection exerises or any other activities are well equipped with protective gear and are given direct instructions as to what they can and cannot do.
“If there is a component that we have to do with a particular school, we would first go to that school and do a presentation to give them information about the snails, showing them what is happening out there and how the diseases that the snails carry can be transmitted,” Dr Gore Francis said.
“If the school cannot provide gloves, we provide it for them. We have disinfectant to wash their hands just in case the gloves are torn. So all precautions are taken,” she added.
The plant protection boss said school children are also educated on the preacutionary measures which have to be followed once they are handling the pest.
The assurance came amidst concerns raised by parents that some schools were assisting the department with the collection as part of their their SBA requirement and the dangers that could be involved in handling the snails.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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