Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Princess Margaret Hospital in need of ultrasound machine .... August 1 food and health fair to help buy equiptment

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 7:00 AM

A well-needed ultrasound machine, in addition to equipment for hygienic purposes, is among several urgent needs at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas that organisers of an annual three-in-one health fair, food festival, and cook-off are planning to address.

This event will be held at the Lyssons Beach on Saturday, August 1.

Omar Williams, a nurse at the hospital for over 10 years and chairman of the organising committee, told The Gleaner that the health facility had been undergoing challenges but he expressed the hope that they would be able to surmount them.

"Currently, the hospital has no ultrasound machine. If patients want to access those services, they will have to go to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), which comes at a cost," he said.

"We also have issues as it relates to our dryer. The linen cannot go in the sun because there is a required temperature that they need, but there is no dryer. There are quite a few gaps that need to be filled," Williams told The Gleaner.

RANGE OF ACTIVITIES

He also spoke to the activities that will be taking place at the health fair, noting that it will create an opportunity for members of the community to access critical services free of cost.

"We are trying to reach a set of persons who are not able to access these services normally. The Registrar General's Department will be coming on board to help us. Doctors will be available to do school medicals in addition to creating an avenue where children can have fun," he said.

The efforts by the organising committee to raise funds for the purchase of an ultrasound machine follow earlier efforts by other groups to come up with approximately $7 million needed to purchase the equipment.

In March, a group by the name of Seed for Life had a fundraising breakfast under the patronage of Custos Marcia Bennett as part of the effort.

Dr Cecil Batchelor, senior medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital, said the ultrasound machine would assist with the diagnosis of a variety of clinical conditions. He said that the installation of the machine at the hospital would upgrade the hospital from a Type C health facility to a Type B, which would see a reduction in the number of cases being transferred to other hospitals outside of the parish.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com