Mon | May 21, 2018

Jamaica working to reduce infant mortality

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska (left), head of delegation, European Union and Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health, share a light moment while inspecting some of the medical supplies contained in the PROMAC Midwife Bags during a handover ceremony held at the PIOJ yesterday.

In continuing its effort to reduce infant mortality, the Ministry of Health believes that the receipt of 150 fully equipped midwife bags will go a long way in reducing the volume of neonatal deaths and other maternal incidents.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, which was held at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said that the Government was working to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five, which target reductions in the maternal and child mortality ratios. The bags were provided by the European Union in collaboration with the PIOJ.

"We still have a lot to do," said Tufton. "While it is true that we are making progress, we are signatories to an important global contract - a contract with the people we serve and those to whom we are committed. As a consequence, we have to continue and to redouble our efforts to ensure that those targets are achieved," he added.

"They (MDGs) are realistic targets, but targets which require effort. It's really about changing lifestyle and changing our approach, overcoming perceptions and some of the attitudes towards pregnancy," he continued.

The health minister also said that there was work to be done in helping to remove some of the stigma attached to pregnancy.

"Pregnancy should not be seen as a sickness. Indeed, it should be viewed as a blessing and having the capacity to expand and to replenish, and to create a legacy for our society and our community. We should ensure that once that blessing (child) is bestowed, it is given the appropriate recognition, the appropriate protection and guidance to materialise into who it really is," suggested Tufton.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com